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EXPERT AVAILABLE: Twitter Talk for Journalists: University of Missouri Journalism Expert Available to Discuss Twitter as Media Tool

March 5, 2009

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,
Jen Reeves, (573) 424-7083,; Twitter: @jenleereeves

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The use of Twitter as a digital networking service is advancing rapidly. A Missouri School of Journalism media expert says that Twitter is an important media tool and journalists should view it as a new news source.

"It isn't the ‘end-all-be-all' answer to all of our challenges, but I do think it's a change in how we gather and share news and information," said Jen Reeves, associate professor in the Missouri School of Journalism.

Reeves says that many student reporters and experts in the field are asking about Twitter and how it can best be used. On her blog, she provides a Twitter "explainer" and a recent webcast about Twitter as a media tool.

"It is fascinating to watch information collect organically on Twitter during breaking news events," Reeves said. "I am studying different ways to help news organizations collaborate and effectively use this as a tool."
Reeves offers these reasons to keep an eye on Twitter:

  • New Information is posted quickly.
  • Comments from people who don't normally give quick thoughts or perspectives (political figures, academics, media reps) are accessible.
  • Personal relationships with members of different news markets can be built.
  • Personal brands can be developed and built online.
  • Information from many people can be collected quickly, especially if they add a topic to their messages (such as #twitter or #explainer).

Reeves began her career at the Missouri School of Journalism as executive producer at KOMU-TV. After using technology to change the structure, organization and workflow of the KOMU newsroom, Reeves became interested in other ways that newsrooms can use technology. She is now KOMU's new media manager and maintains the station's Web site. She is working to expand traditional media by using non-traditional media delivery sources, such as podcasting, vodcasting (podcast with video) and other on-demand technologies that can deliver content. Reeves earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from MU and a master's degree in management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich.