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Micro-blog political reporting gets NYT nod

Did anyone else catch that Twitter went mainstream today? Kind of.

Though I’m still defending myself from the Twitter jabs my peers pour on — even the most tech-savvy of them doesn’t “get it” — The New York Times, thankfully, does.

The NYTs’ fourth most e-mailed technology story of the moment is this gem, Campaign Reporting in Under 140 Taps.

It’s a look at several political reporters micro-blogging the presidential campaigns through Twitter and the like. Nothing particularly enlightening, though a few comic anecdotes.

As Mr. Knox makes clear, news has always come in different sizes. Despite the new gadgetry, these journalists are actually rediscovering telegraphese — the clipped (ideally witty) style that flourished because of word limits imposed by an earlier technology, the telegraph. Today, it is the limits imposed by text-messaging.

“It’s a sign of just how impatient this generation is,” Ms. Cox said. “I don’t have to open up a computer, and it’s no more than 140 characters.” …

To Josh Tyrangiel, the managing editor of Time.com, “the business thinking is the same as almost all of my business thinking: Why not?” The more exposure to Time.com’s material, the better, and no one can afford to be choosy about the setting. So Ms. Cox also has a Flickr feed for her photographs from the campaign trail that Mr. Tyrangiel is happy to promote. Ultimately, he said, it is a hopeless fight.

“If you tell people how to consume their content, they will ignore you,” he said, a truism that experience had taught new-media executives. “Let people do what they want to do and try to be in their circle of choice.”

Why it matters though is, and I have no idea where this ran in print or if it did, this will get Twitter before a mass audience of people who may not even be as tech-savvy as my peers who tell me “Twitter just sounds like a dirty word” or joke when I ask if they read an interesting story about whether I saw it on Twitter.

I just laugh. Roll my eyes. Give them a plea to try it out. And then succumb to the inevitable “Dear blogger” jokes that aren’t far behind it. But they mean well, and one day they’ll get it, too. I’m not giving up on trying to win them over just yet.

BTW: You can follow me on Twitter here. My updates are protected, but I’ll add you. (Since it’s mostly personal observations, I want to know who’s reading.) They’re also fed to my Facebook status, where you can also add me by searching my name.

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