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Digital chief praises weekly's use of Twitter

A weekly has won praise from the digital chief of a rival regional publisher for its use of Twitter in print.

David Higgerson, digital publishing director at Trinity Mirror, paid homage to the Johnston Press-owned Lancaster Guardian for its ability to “explain the context” of a Twitter conversation in its paper.

Writing on his personal blog, David admitted that making Twitter work in print was a “challenge” which often results in “a disappointing experience for the reader” – adding that sections dedicated to Tweets in the regional press can often look “a bit wet in print”.

However, he welcomed the Guardian’s approach to utilising the social media site in its newly-revamped opinion section, pictured below.

Lancaster Tweets

David wrote: “A newspaper down south which I see quite often has a round-up of Tweets it has been involved with, but they tend to only the ones written by their journalists, saying things like ‘Great round up of the Christmas parade in this week’s paper’ or ‘Just putting this week’s paper to bed. Great read. Buy it!’ Which, obviously, is a little OTT if the reader reads that Tweet in print after buying the paper.

He added: “I really liked this approach to Twitter from the Lancaster Guardian, taking the time to explain the context of a Twitter conversation, and even report conversations which they had no involvement in, but which told a good story anyway.”

Guardian editor Nicola Adam said: “The constantly increasing interactions via Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms are increasingly informing and influencing the traditional reporting of news and features in print.

“Tweets are often not just 140 character statements, they often form part of a greater conversation which is what we are hoping to reflect within the new section.

“There have already been some great debates. Many thanks to David for his encouraging comments.”

David’s blog can be viewed here.


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  • December 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Sorry folks but after reading through the Tweets I decided I’d rather sit and look out the window to watch the grass grow. They are, in the main, pointless and a world away from proper journalism – which I still believe is what the readers want in their paper.

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  • December 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Alternatively, the Guardian could just have done a good, old-fashioned page lead from the tweets. But that would have meant a reporter making a few phone calls and a snapper getting a proper pic, so I wonder if they bothered. It would be nice to think so.

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