Ashton Kutcher thinks Twitter is the best thing since trucker hats

I was watching CNN the other day and came across a story I want to share with the class. To sum it up, Ashton Kutcher of Punk'd and Demi Moore-marrying fame, challenged CNN to a race. His goal? To beat the network to 1 million Twitter followers.

It's quite an interesting story and I think it can spur a lot of thought and discussion about the future of "real" journalism, which can be found on networks like CNN, versus sites like Twitter, which may be the go-to news sources of future generations.

What does it say about what's happening in the journalism industry that Larry King, who represents CNN and, in a way, classic methods of journalism, is posting a YouTube response to Ashton Kutcher's Twitter challenge? What do you think about user-generated sites like Twitter becoming ever more popular for the gathering of information? Just a thought...

By the way, Kutcher won the race. What does THAT say about the state of journalism? I think it speaks to the theory that the U.S. is growing into more of a TMZ society than one that is concerned with politics, international events and stories with real news value.

Original story about Kutcher's challenge (with YouTube video embedded at bottom)- http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/13/ashton-kutcher-promises-to-punk-ted-turner-if-he-beats-cnn-to-a-million-twitter-followers/

Follow-up story about King's response (with YouTube video embedded at bottom):

King and Kutcher's conversation on Larry King Live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNzag6456fI

1 comment:

Allison said...

I think your post was really interesting! I think that Twitter is a convenient technology that could be very dangerous for news if it is not used properly. What makes me most nervous is the security of information exchanged over Twitter and responsibility for content published. What actually inspired my concern was the rumor that someone broke into Miley Cyrus' Twitter account. (I couldn't find a reliable article verifying this incident, but the thought of someone hacking into Twitter really got me thinking!!)

When you search for peoples' names on Twitter, especially celebrities there are all kinds of fake profiles (only one comes up for Katie Couric, which is slightly comforting). What if a reporter left his or her Twitter account open in the newsroom, and someone started posting false and frightening accounts of an emergency like a terrorist attack under his or her name. If people are going to this reporter's Twitter for news updates, the results of someone breaking into the account could be panic, and no accountability for the information published. I think that what Twitter users have to learn is how to use the technology for news updates, such as comments from a live event. For information like that, I think Twitter is very useful. I do not think it is completely reliable when stories become complicated, or for original news. I think its primary use should be as a tool to enhance communication and facilitate information sharing (which is actually what Katie Couric's Twitter page does). I think users should verify content, especially when it is linked to more serious stories. Audiences must remember to check other sources too!