The technological developments from the last 20 years have an impact on journalism. In the 90s print publications were in power and to be a journalist particularly meant to write an article for the newspaper of the next day.
Internet was invented and publications have appeared online – some even existing online only, which led to the concept of “online journalist”. The market viewed this move with scepticism. Even the European Commission took years to recognize online publications, and to accredit online journalists to the European institutions. I have still fresh in mind when, back in 2001, EurActiv wanted to accredit journalists and the Commission couldn’t really understand this type of the European media.
Things have evolved gradually, blogs and bloggers appeared. Some bloggers even became very famous, their visibility greater than some publications. Discussions started again about this new form of journalism, the debate covering pro and cons.
For some time now we are witnessing a new dimension of journalism, at least in Brussels. It’s the journalist focused on Twitter. In fact, there are already journalists who are defined as "Twitter journalists". They participate to important events, draft messages of maximum 140 characters, and inform those who follow them on a particular subject. In order to better understand this niche, you should understand that certain journalists are "followed" by thousands of other Twitter users, reaching an enormous audience.
Of course, nowadays anyone can become a "journalist". You buy a web domain and start publishing. You can even give yourself the title "Editor-in-Chief" of the publication once you released it. Many times it may even be successful, reaching hundreds or even thousands of people who are interested in the content presented. The big problem, however, arises around funding. Who pays? Where does money come from? What is the business model? And if you say advertising, and that treats you well, you're wrong!
So welcome “Twitter journalists” in the media landscape! Good luck in finding way to survive financially!
Dan LUCA / Brussels