I was listening to a recent episode of the podcast Hard Fork, and a specific part of it really resonated with me. It was where Casey Newton was talking to his co-host, Kevin Roose, about NPR’s decision to leave Twitter after getting a “state-affiliated media” badge.
You know what I’ve been thinking about lately, Kevin? Do you remember during the Trump campaigns, when there would be these rallies. And in the center of the rally there would be a pit for the media. And a signature moment of every rally would be Trump pointing to the people in the media so that everyone at the rally could say, boo, we don’t like the press.
That is what Twitter has become. It is the press pit, where a bunch of people are standing around you in a circle, jeering. Adding this state-funded media badge was one of those steps. But I’m barely joking when I say that I think eventually every reporter who is still on the service will have a clown badge next to their username. And you just have to decide if you still want to be there when it happens.
I truly think this is just a matter of time, and if Elon listens to Hard Fork then he almost certainly has at least talked about it with his overworked developer team.
To add to this, I also read in a recent post by Pew Research that journalists on Twitter might not even be getting the views they deserve. Nearly 70% of journalists use Twitter as one of their top social media platforms. With that in mind, only about 13% of users use Twitter as their means of getting news.
The usage of Twitter by journalists is beyond disproportionate to their actual reach.