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Twitter have been a well kept secret among journalists in Europe. Not that the media haven’t been writing about it. They have. But not many journalists have openly been using the micro-blogging service Twitter to get news and stories. This is no longer the case.

More and more media are now refering to Twitter as the source for news stories. Some of the best know examples are the terror in Mumbai and several plain crashes – e.g. the crash in the Hudson River.
In Denmark the best know example was when another newspaper, Nyhedsavisen, was declared bankroupt. The owner, Morten Lund, annonced it on Twitter also, and a lot of media began to refer to the owners tweets as quotations instead of making actual interviews with him.

And the Danish media have taken the next step and are now using Twitter as a place to launch news stories. Last example was when a danish sports newspaper “Tipsbladet” made a “Breaking News” on Twitter about a soccer player who allegedly have been involved in a violent act.

The Online manager Kristoffer Friis from Tipsbladet explained why with this statement (translated from Danish):

We were pretty sure that the story was true, but we couldn’t write it on our website, so we choose Twitter….

But is that really the right way to use micro-blogging as a news source? As a media where to place rumours and and a place to collect quick statements which can go instead of real interviews?

I personally hope not.

Micro-blogs such as Twitter is a very interesting way of communications. And it’s already a place where news are first launched and the Danish media are also present there with Twitter-profiles such as EkstraBladet, Politiken, Berlingske Tidende etc. but the number of followers are typical below 100 so it’s not yet a success. Perhaps because the media needs to learn how Twitter works.

More interessting are the journalists who are more active than the media themselves. More and more journalists can be found at Twitter. It’s learning by doing as it’s the case with most social media. So in the near future we can probably see the media evolve on Twitter and other social media.

It’s possible to see a list of journalists and media using Twitter here. A few Danish journalists are listed – if some are missing (and I’m sure there are) you can update the wiki yourself or just write a comment here and I will update the wiki with your information.