Wednesday 25 April 2012

BBC journalist Stuart Hughes on newsgathering with Twitter and social media

In this video, World Affairs Producer Stuart Hughes talks about his use of social media at the BBC. He was speaking on a course organised by the BBC College of Journalism on 20 April 2012:

I spoke to Stuart Hughes several times while writing my thesis on the impact of blogging on the BBC's coverage of war and terrorism.

There are a few things worth picking out here about his changing practices in the newsroom.

Just one to get you started is Stuart's shift away from ENPS towards Hootsuite, a Twitter application.

The Essential News Production System is a piece of software designed by the Associated Press which provides all BBC journalists with news and information from news agency sources and other BBC journalists. First installed in 1996, it is also used to produce TV and radio programmes.

In the video, Stuart points out that he still has ENPS open somewhere on his desktop, but for newsgathering he'll mostly be looking at Hootsuite which allows him to monitor many more sources on Twitter.

Using Hootsuite, Stuart has built different Twitter lists for various news topics and stories so he can keep across developments in each area. Notably, these are not public lists, but are kept private in an attempt to compete with rival news organisations.

If you watch the video, it's also worth looking out for a question halfway through where a member of the audience asks whether Stuart uses Twitter as a "single source", which relates to the BBC's practices over sourcing information.


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