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Can we tell which Tweets are news and which are views? Should we be able to?

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Let’s play Devil’s Advocate.

Let’s start with the premise that scholastic media’s use of Twitter can cause confusion. Confusion about which Tweets are opinion and which are legitimate news.

And sometimes, because of current practices, audiences cannot tell the difference.

Why?

Because the simple addition of an exclamation point at the end of 140 characters or the urging “Go see” without a source compromises the information as news.

So, the press rights commission will discuss this statement as part of a set of guidelines for online ethics and social media:  We believe journalists and news organizations should understand the necessity of defining, and clearly labeling, news and opinion. In an open environment like the Web, consistency in presentation can help the reader see clearly where the lines are drawn between news and opinion. Whenever journalists or organizations blur or blend those roles, they need to recognize the peril and weigh the consequences.

What do you think? Add your voice to the discussion.

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