9 lessons in Journalism from Tweets

Peter Griffin is Editor, Special Features, at Forbes India and ForbesLife India. He always considers himself as a student. He also handle social media for both publications. Last week the magazine carried a cover story on Flipkart and created a “HO HO” !! Based on the last week’s brouhaha on the cover story and that Peter being a late convert from advertising into journalism, he has listed nine lessons he learnt about Journalism practiced today. He writes in his column in Forbes India magazine :

Being a late convert from advertising, I’m probably the least experienced journalist in the Forbes India team aside from our interns. So I’m always grateful for the lessons the world can teach me.

• It is possible to pronounce judgement on an article based purely on a headline and/or tweets about it.

• A critical cover story must be a marketing gimmick by the subject of the article in collusion with its “critics,” because, after all, as Mr Barnum said, bad publicity is still publicity.

Read the full piece by Peter in Forbes 10 lessons on #journalism from Twitter

Note from Jeetu Shah: Yesterday the full text of the post was published here, but the author objected to that terming it as unethical and directed me to just include part of it and give the link to read the remaining post, which I did. However, I think how grave the crime was it, if the full piece was posted? So, I wrote back to Peter and tried getting some education from him.  ” Lesson # 10 in Journalism”.

Below is, what I wrote back to an Editor, Special Features of a globally acclaimed publication:

Peter, It depends on how we interpret ethics in a certain profession. However, since you are the author and I have committed a sin of letting know the readers of my blog about the 10 lessons you learnt, I shall honor your wish.
I still do not understand though, what difference will it make if I go back to the post, edit it, just include a short excerpt and a link and tax the readers to click the link and visit your whole post? If blogging was my profession (money making) it would be 100 % unethical to earn my livelihood on somebody labour (here writings). And is it really unethical that on a non-money making blog even after I have extended all due credits (authors name/fame, picture, magazine’s name, its link, etc) to the related post, even tendering an unconditional apology, for the “sin” I have committed, instead of just taking it lightly, you are so insistent on making me edit the post and update it again? What will one achieve out of it? Can’t we, as a fellow journalists, just be cool about it? Forbes & you are now globally acclaimed identity and people already know you and admire your work.
Even though you are an Editor, you are so down-to-earth & modest to write that you are ‘always a student’, I was inspired to include the full text of your post (instead of making the readers travel on the net), so that people who know & do not know you, can also admire you (especially after the brouhaha about your Flipkart cover story). In many of my other postings, I normally do what you ordered me to do with your post. But this was a relatively small piece, so I thought an honorable journalist of your stature won’t mind.
But, now I know it’s not you, the designation after your name who is hurt. Thanks for teaching me lesson # 10th.
But, my dear friend remember, it’s always good to get respect by one name and work, as the “belt”(designation) doesn’t remain permanent. Though, I am also a journalist (25+ years), I am also from the trader community being a Gujarati. We usually have a signboard in our shop which says,” These days will also Pass” (whether good or bad). I wish you well, Peter. ~ Jeetu

India’s @Pooja Patel twitter trend: Good Morning!I have been receiving far too many morning kisses frm you ..Flying Kisses to all!

Pooja Patel: @Poojapatel: Good Morning !! I have been receiving far too many morning kisses msgs frm you .. Its crazy stuff !! Flying Kisses to all !!

Tweeted Pooja Patel this (saturday 5 2012) morning to her 21268 follower !!!

In the past few days, Twitter has been abuzz with one name—Pooja Patel. All that the followers of her Twitter handle @Poojapatel, know is that she is a Gujarati girl, and  has set her location as New Delhi/Auckland. Her profile reveals that she has only tweeted 40-odd-times, but has over 21,000 plus,  followers. All thanks to her display picture. #PoojaPatel that is driving everyone on twitter crazy! People are tweeting about this Pooja Patel so much that the topic has already started trending in 7 countries!!!

But if you want to know the REAL story behind #PoojaPatel, read on! Here is the scoop, @PoojaPatel came alive on twitter after not tweeting for nearly 3 years… the trend actually started when @shadez discovered that this @PoojaPatel  hadn’t tweeted, but one tweet and had 20K followers! A couple of his followers took notice, and well… that is how the trend began!

After 3 years of not tweeting, and magically tweeting the day your name begins to trend was quite fishy to some people. People believe @PoojaPatel’s account is hacked, and is being operated by someone else. Whatever it may be… thank you for the Internet entertainment! Almost 24 hours later and #PoojaPatel is still trending…. wow… I am speechless!

The first tweet on her profile is from February 13, 2009, says, “searching for some good friends (sic).”

And it seems she only re-opened her Twitter account on May 2 this year, and her second tweet that comes after almost two-and-a-half years reads, “OMG ! So Many messages… : ) (sic)”

And by then her name was surprisingly trending, which prompted tweets like, “I was wondering why twitter spammed me with emails today.. now i look at this place..(sic)”; and “ppl sending me strange messages that are not even funny..(sic).”

It is anybody’s guess whether her profile is fake or real, but it sure reveals a lot about the wonders of a revealing display picture and how socila media has made it easy for nobody’s to achieve fame overnight.

One of Pooja’s tweets reads, “Who is Pooja Patel ? – A : am a girl on a secret mission, and no i havent been offered a bollywood movies yet… lol ..(sic)” Well, going by her ability to grab eyeballs she could sure land some plump Bollywood projects.


Indian Politicians on Twitter:Modi Express #1

As the state of Gujarat commemorated its 52nd Gaurav Diwas (Foundation Day), the Modi Express on Twitter celebrated another milestone when it crossed the make of 600,000 ‘followers’ in record time! This once again reaffirms why he is truly called the ‘King of Social Media’ among the politicians!
This mammoth increase among Narendra Modi’s followers comes at a time when he featured on the cover page of Time Magazine, which lauded the decade of peace and development in Gujarat. Other luminaries who have come on the cover include Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Incidentally, he is the only Indian Chief Minister and the first BJP leader to feature on the list. Roughly at the same time, Brookings Institution, one of Washington DCs oldest and most reputed think tanks carried a comprehensive story by William Antholis, its managing editor. Brookings lauded the atmosphere of development that prevailed in Gujarat.