For much of my first five or six years on Twitter, I tried to convince other journalists of its value. I’d assure them that you didn’t have to tweet about what you had for breakfast and that it really helps you find sources, report stories, etc. I’ve pretty much stopped doing that.
If you’re a journalist not using Twitter in 2014, you’ve chosen to be less skilled, less relevant, less visible and less connected. That’s your choice and I no longer care much about changing your mind. I can think of a few times in the last month that I’ve encountered journalists who were defiantly resisting use of Twitter and I just smiled, if I acknowledged their defiance at all.
But here’s one last try: You might get fired at any time. Every journalist knows that, especially these days. When you get fired, Twitter is an incredible source of encouragement and even job leads.
I’ve been fired twice in my career: in 1992 when I was editor of the Minot Daily News and Wednesday when Digital First Media announced that it was shutting Thunderdome and told me my job would end on July 1.
I had support from friends, family and colleagues in 1992, but it was one of the worst days of my career. Wednesday was another difficult day. But it was still one of the best days of my career. I will always remember it fondly for the warm embrace of friends, especially on Twitter. (more…)