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Reporter Solicits Sources Via Twitter

If you work at Yahoo and just got laid off, Om Malik wants to hear from you — and he posted that request on Twitter.

0 Comments on “Reporter Solicits Sources Via Twitter”

  1. #1 Seth Finkelstein
    on Dec 11th, 2008 at 5:10 am

    The headline is misleading. It should be “A-lister”, not “Reporter”.

    I spent some time figuring out why this bugged me, and then I realized it’s another example of the oligarchy (aka. “IF YOU’RE NOT ON THE A-LIST, YOU DON’T GET HEARD!”). “Reporter” conjures up an image that’s not the sort of subcultural celebrity that’s really at work here. That is, the average reporter wouldn’t be able to use this well, since they wouldn’t have the sort of local fame that Malik does.

    That is, the headline sounds like this is useful for a generic reporter, but the item is really more a “things A-listers like” sales-pitch.

  2. #2 Jon Garfunkel
    on Dec 11th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    As GigaOM has a masthead, VC funding, prior journalism experience, I think Mr. Malik’s reportorial qualifications on paper are beyond doubt.

    Of course, we’re told, journalism is a verb (um, a process). Step 1 is soliciting information (ooh… he used Twitter). Step 2 is forming words & sentences (or creative use of Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V) and hitting submit. In this case, he didn’t quite make it to this crucial second step– I didn’t see any story.

    In fact, he punted: “I was unable to bring myself to participate in the morbid and nearly gleeful frenzy that turned victimization of Yahoo faithful…” He merely linked to techmeme. Kara Swisher, she of the vulture MSM culture, already had a dozen impassioned emails by then and whipped up a story (um, blog post).

    Malik’s intrepid sense of journalistic ethics should serve his patrons at Alloy Ventures well: never waste time on a story done to death!

  3. #3 Seth Finkelstein
    on Dec 11th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Jon, I’m not denying that he has “reporter” as one of his attributes. Rather, I’m pointing out that the headline is misleading by implication by using that attribute, since that then implies the generic attribute is most relevant.

    This is the kind of headline the Onion parodies sometimes, where they run stories like “Area Catholic Denounces Violent Christianity” (“claiming extremist Christians have misunderstood the message of Jesus, Mr. Smith says only a small minority follow the so-called Crusader theology”).

    A generic reporter couldn’t effectively do what Malik did, because the generic reporter would be ignored. So “reporter” is not the key attribute.

    The subtext is part of the hype campaign for Twitter – it’s useful for news! But it isn’t, except as it’s useful for A-listers and data-mining the chat of their demographic, which is very different.

  4. #4 Jon Garfunkel
    on Dec 11th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Right you are. Department of the obvious: Bloggy guy uses Twitter to reach sources.

    re: this tweet, is on Om’s page but it’s suffixed with @dangillmor. I’m still unfamiliar with Twitter’s syntax: Does that mean reply to dangillmor, or reply from dangillmor?