I blogged on Wednesday about the British media's love affair with Twitter, the micro-blogging website. Today saw two contrasting features about Twitter in Britain's quality press. (Thanks to the Guardian's Jack Schofield for pointing out both these stories.)
The Daily Telegraph's Lucy Atkins provided a balanced, helpful guide to Twitter for beginners. In the words of the article's sub heading, "Twitter is taking the world by storm, leaving Facebook and email in its wake. We examine how the micro-blogging site is helping users in their personal and professional lives."
By contrast, the Independent columnist Terence Blacker wrote a lazy parody of Twitter. The headline - 'You don't have to be a twit ... but it helps' - gave away the article's contents. Blacker went on: 'Twitter may have novelty value but it is more than mere surface silliness. It is anti-thought, the deadening white noise of modern life with all its pointless business.' There is, no question, pointlessness in Twitter. As there is in any national newspaper. (Give me Twitter any day over the Daily Mail's lethal campaign against the MMR vaccine.) But I wouldn't have come across either of these articles had I not seen Jack Schofield's Twitter posts ('tweets').
A final thought. It may be unfair to compare two great newspapers on the evidence of two articles. But I was surprised to see the supposedly reactionary Telegraph publish a helpful piece about Twitter, while the once fresh thinking Independent provides a platform for a rant against the new. What next, a Daily Mail leader praising the BBC?
Note: I'm now active on Twitter - find me here.