- Provide a backchannel to add more depth about what's going wrong and why.
- On Twitter, one correction isn't enough to be sure everyone gets the message. Repetition over time is essential--think stream, not drop.
- Signal clearly. In this case, saying data "indicates" a second volcano didn't convey the intent--that the news was tentative. Most readers took it as a reality. (This is a common problem in conveying technical and scientific terms, where "theoretical" means "potentially wrong" to public audiences and "hardened fact, proven by research" to scientists, for example.) Watch those nuances, euphemisms and unintended other uses of your terms.
Monday, April 26, 2010
this post on the Columbia Journalism Review blog by Craig Silverman does a great job unpacking it for you. He uses the fresh example of an @BreakingNews tweet (operated by MSNBC.com) about a possible second Icelandic earthquake, and while the tweet included a tempered verb to make the news sound less definitive, the re-tweets tended to strip out the nuances. The lesson--still a work in progress--includes these three tips: