Twitter as a news source on swine flu

Everyone (apparently) is now on Twitter, so I’ve been signed up and using it for a couple of weeks.  A lot of it can be inane crap, but I wanted to follow a few people to see what the fuss was about.  I normally use it to get links to interesting stories.  The swine flu that is breaking out in Mexico and spreading around the world is the first news item I’ve been following:

oreillyswine

It is pretty good at getting things in real time, as long as you can judge for yourself what you think may be realible:

swinesearch2

The links can be very interesting, such as this interactive Google Map to track the cases of swine flu:

swineflumapswineflumap2

Also, this is the article recommended by Tim O’Reilly in the image above:  A few comments on pandemic influenza

Looks like Twitter can be good for getting a feel of how things are progressing as they are happening.  The Guardian used this as a way of covering the G20 summit demonstrations in London – maybe it is another possible tool available to journalists, adding depth to a properly written finished, considered article.  Maybe the world-at-large using Twitter collectively can do just as good a job as journalists (check out Jay Rosen’s views here.)

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