Miami Herald reporters fed up with newspaper's mis-use of Twitter

Journalists at the Miami Herald are complaining about the newspaper's gratuitous use of Twitter, according to The Guardian.

Twenty-three staff members signed a complaint about the over-use of Twitter as a source: "Last month, a very serious story about a 15-year-old girl and her mother... both killed by the teen's older boyfriend... included a quote by someone named lagordita. The quote... "There was absolutely nothing good that could have possibly come from this relationship"... did not add any particular insight to the story," the complaint said.

It went on to say, "On Sunday, we devoted the week's most desirable newspaper real estate to a series of tweets from our readers about 9/11. We know almost nothing about these people. The names could be real, but maybe not. It doesn't really matter in Twitter world. So, in a story that begins on the top of our front page, we have...such trenchant and profound observations as: 'I was sleeping,' and 'In my car... coming home from the gym,' and 'Standing at my kitchen sink.' Is there any reason why our dwindling pool of readers would care about any of this?"

While the staffers said they understand the industry is facing change and uncertainty, that is no reason to "mimic" Twitter, which they argued would be a mistake. "Local news does not have to be shallow and cheesy," they wrote.

Ryan Derousseau of MediaBistro wrote that "as newspapers react to the social media world, it's likely that this debate will continue in newsrooms."

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.