Twitter is killing spin

Twitter is a great detector of bull. It is changing the way that news is managed fundamentally. And for the better

by Douglas Carswell MP on 28 May 2013 09:02

"A thing is true at first light" wrote Ernest Hemingway "and a lie by noon". And no more so than when Twitter is unraveling government spin.

Whenever a government department publishes data or makes an announcement, there will be spin. Facts that are convenient to the government's case will be highlighted. Awkward details skated over. Journalists - often short of time and inclined to take at face value what spin doctors tell them - will be given very one sided briefings.

Before Twitter, that was often that. It would take days to marshal the counter arguments. Journalists might not hear the alternative analysis until long after the news agenda had moved on.

No longer. What is being spun at first light as we listen to the Today programme can be unspun before lunchtime.

Thanks to Twitter, the press lobby no longer has to take at face value what spin merchants feed it. Journalists can read the counter analysis in real time. It takes minutes, rather than days, for them to hear the other side of the story.

Many of those who learnt the spivish art of news management in the 1990s are struggling.

Twitter is a great detector of bull. It is changing the way that news is managed fundamentally. And for the better.

This blog originally appeared on talkcarswell.com

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