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Dorian Benkoil Dorian Benkoil
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Dorian Benkoil senior consultant at Teeming Media. An award-winning journalist and editor, he was a foreign correspondent for AP and Newsweek, and international and managing editor for At ABC News he moved to the business side, handling sales integration and business development, before joining Fairchild Publications as General Manager for their Internet division, becoming editorial director for, then a consultant for Teeming Media in New York. He graduates this year with an MBA from Baruch's Zicklin school of business. Learn more about him at or his blog -

Robert Cauthorn is a journalist, former vice president of digital media at the San Francisco Chronicle, and was the third recipient of the Newspaper Association of America's prestigious Digital Pioneer Award. He launched one of the first five newspapers web sites in the world and is generally considered to have delivered the first profitable newspaper web site in 1995. Cauthorn has been in the middle of the transition from old media to new and is recognized as frank-talking critic when he believes newspapers stray for their mission. In mid-2004 he became the president of CityTools, LLC a new media startup based in San Francisco.

Ben Compaine has divided his career between the academic world and private business. He was a journalist when manual typewriters were considered state of the art, but also led the conversion of his college newspaper to cold type. He has started and managed weekly newspapers. His dissertation at Temple University in 1977 was about the changing technologies that were going to unsettle the landscape of the staid and low profit newspaper industry. Since then he has focused his research and consulting on examining the forces and trends at work in the information industries. Among his most well-known works (and the name of his blog) is "Who Owns the Media?".

Vin Crosbie has been called "the Practical Futurist" by Folio, the trade journal of the American magazine industry. Editor & Publisher magazine, the trade journal of the American newspaper industry, devoted the Overview chapter of executive research report Digital Delivery of News: A How-to Guide for Publishers to his work. His speech to the National Association of Broadcasters annual conference was one of 24 orations selected by a team of speech professors for publication in the reference book Representative American Speeches 2004-2005. He has keynoted the Seybold Publishing Strategies conference in 2000; co-chaired and co-moderated last year's annual Beyond the Printed Word the digital publishing conference in Vienna; and regularly speaks at most major online news media conferences. He is currently in residence as adjunct professor of visual and interactive communications and senior consultant on executive education in new media at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and meanwhile is managing partner of the media consulting firm of Digital Deliverance LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.
About this blog
Two forces have shattered the news media. Technology is the first. Although media technology is undergoing its greatest change since the day in 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg first inked type, for more than ten years now the news industry has mistaken new technologies merely as electronic ways to distribute otherwise printed or analog products. Estrangement is the second. The news media has lost touch with people's needs and interests during the past 30 years, as demonstrated by rapidly declining readerships of newspapers and audiences of broadcast news. How we rebuild news media appropriate to the 21st Century from the growing rubble of this industry is the subject of this group weblog.
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May 12, 2008

Twitter Journalism

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Posted by Dorian Benkoil

What do you think are/should be the rules of Twitter journalism?

A few folks have been using Twitter as a kind of live-blogging mechanism, so folks following a Twitter feed can read what a reporter has to say about an event or news scene as he/she types it in a handheld device. That can be perfectly valid, but it’s important -- as with any medium -- to consider the audience, and how they’re likely consuming what’s being provided.

A lot of the Twittering I’ve seen reads as if you have to be at the event to understand what was said -- you have to be so much an insider that you’re already on the inside. If that’s the case, what’s the point? To be pedantic about it, some questions:

Do your readers need more information? Should you give a full name of whom you’re talking about?

  • Shouldn’t you say specifics rather than just allude?
  • Can you sum up, or should you quote?
  • Yes, it’s only 140 characters, but as Mark Twain might have said: I wrote a full article because I didn’t have time to Twitter. Writing intelligently in 140-character bursts is a hard thing to do.

What else?

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Online


1. David Markum on May 20, 2008 9:32 AM writes...

I see people writing about twitter a lot. Its everywhere...twitter this and twitter that. The reality is that so few people use twitter I dont know why its even a story. Twitter has less then 200K UU according to Quantcast. This means there are roughly 11,000 sites that have more traffic. Its no where close to mainstream.

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2. Dorian on May 23, 2008 8:37 AM writes...

No, there aren't a lot of people Twittering in the larger universe. But the influencers are, and it's getting traction. Whether it's Twitter and its many offshoots and addenda and integrators (anything from TwitPic to Friendfeed to Twirhl...) or another technology, the cloud is forming and we'll see a lot of use of handhelds in short bursts, posting and communicating in multiple direction. Maybe Twitter's already jumped the shark?

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