Andy Carvin on Twitter as a newsroom and being human | GigaOm

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By now, many people are familiar with the story of how NPR editor Andy Carvin used Twitter to create a kind of crowdsourced newswire during the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East last year, inventing a brand-new kind of journalism on the fly and in full public view. In a discussion with me on Thursday in Toronto about the lessons that can be learned from his experience, Carvin made some interesting points about the value of such an approach — including the importance of being transparent about the process, and the virtues of being human.

Andy Carvin: “I get uncomfortable when people prefer my twitter feed as a newswire. It’s not a newswire. It’s a newsroom. It’s where I’m trying to separate fact from fiction, interacting with people. That’s a newsroom.”

“You have to be prepared to be accountable in real time. When I screw up, my followers tell me.”

This is the kind of thing that mainstream media outlets discourage, just as many try to avoid admitting that they have made mistakes. Restrictive social-media policies put in place by many of these outlets seem designed to remove as many of the elements of being human as possible from the practice of being a journalist — which I think is the exact opposite of what needs to happen if traditional journalism is to survive.

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