Should Twitter be used by journalists as a source?


More and more companies are starting to use Twitter to release information. Game companies use it to announce everything from new websites to new game releases. Journalists then pounce and use the 140 character tweet as a source in an article. We’ve been guilty of it too. But does that make it right? Should we be putting so much weight to something on twitter?

Recently David Jaffe said something about an upcoming announcement in a recent tweet (only part of it).. “..but please buy our new game, to be announced soon! :)”

That day gaming blogs ran with that and posted that Jaffe was going to be announcing a new game. We didn’t run it because there was no other information. No date, no title, no to be announced at blank con.

*warning explicit text- it’s Jaffe what do you expect?*

Even Jaffe thought it was insane that his tweet became news.
” Yeah I expected them to do it. Fucking fuckers. By the way, what a stupid news story. An announce of an announce?!?”

Earlier today, EA posted a link to a website which we did post about. Ten minutes after posting, I received a press release about the title of the game and what company is behind it. Sure would have been nice to have that information to begin with.

What I wonder from you is what do you think about Game company tweets? Do you enjoy the code giveaways? Do you think Twitter teases should not be news? How do you wish Game companies would use Twitter more effectively?

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As per the EA announcement about Rage, they'd kind of talked about it last week, mentioned the new Twitter account for it, etc, which is how I knew what they were talking about before you posted the news item. I know not every one follows everyone else, but they should at least make sure a press release is being sent out the same time as the corresponding tweet.

Twitter isn't a news source, per se. But it can help steer people to the news they would be interested in if utilized properly.


I have used twitter as a base source in some articles and I have written about twitter itself. I believe that news/information should be used if you are able to get more information about the product/game etc. BUT we should not be making news solely based on what some said in a tweet. Cause you knows how many article we would have about what someone had for lunch. :p


My belief is that Twitter can be used as a source, but not the ONLY source.

Lots of news in other genres have been broken on Twitter. However, many news organizations have held off, wanting to get something much more indepth by the person/company/organization. It's easy to interpret a tweet as breaking news.

News organizations have to be careful much more. A lot of places want to be the first to break the story, but there has to be a level of getting it right even if it means making one extra phone call or e-mail to fact check.


Travis Barbour
Travis Barbour

Using Twitter as a news source has become ever more useful as the games journalism industry relies on breaking news and getting items first.
Making 'an announcement of an announcement' a news story is pushing things too far but some of the stuff announced is proper news; news that can be used as a good source. The source might be Twitter, but where else can you get direct information from so many community members and industry professionals?
Also, if you don't make it a story, someone else will.