We speak with Sky News' new 'Twitter correspondent'

Sky News has decided Twitter is so powerful a news-gathering tool, it has appointed multimedia producer Ruth Barnett as full-time 'Twitter correspondent'

It's Friday, so here's an amusing Twitter story. Sky News has decided Twitter is so powerful a news-gathering tool, it has appointed multimedia producer Ruth Barnett as full-time 'Twitter correspondent'.

Sky isn't alone in understanding the power of Twitter as both a communications medium and as a powerful source for breaking news stories -- CNET UK has been using Twitter since April 2007. But this is the first time a news organisation has put money on the table to employ someone whose job it is to scour Twitter for breaking stories.

"That's where people are talking about their real lives," Barnett told us on the phone last night, though she admits her role will involve a massive amount of blind navigation. "We're going to experiment to see what works."

"[For Sky News] it's about having someone who can flag up news when something's kicking off, and to talk back to people to see what their opinion is," she explains.

Twitter has hit the pages of international news publications, including The New York Times and the BBC, as a result of its ability to let real people break news of global interest.

Just back in December 2008 , Twitter user Mike Wilson Twittered from the wreckage of a plane crash, highlighting Twitter's power to bring breaking news to the Web significantly faster than even a news site or blog.

Part of Barnett's job is to find these stories. You can follow her at twitter.com/ruthbarnett.

 

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