Tools vs Media / by Nate Westheimer

Some quick thoughts I posted to Tumblr this morning, and then on Howard's blog: betaworks: Yes:

“I DON’T believe that Twitter is Journalism. You can’t replace the freaking New York Times with Twitter. Yes, the New York Times is busted, but I don’t want my news in 140 characters. I do believe that Twitter is entertaining and can make us all smarter as ideas get exchanged. That’s a fantastic combination for now.”

Howard Lindzon.

The question here:

Is Twitter a tool or is Twitter a medium? Or, are media tools for other media?

In essence, this is like asking, “Will a reporter’s tape recorder replace the reporter’s work?”

The answer: The reporter’s tape recorder will become of increasing interest to the public as access to that tool increases and it become a medium in and of itself (see: millions of press conference views on YouTube and full-length speeched on NYTimes.com).

As people gain access to the tools of reporting, those tools become media themselves. However they do not replace — in any way — the work of the craftsman (in this case, the reporter or journalist).

But while they do not replace, they do displace, and now we’re seeing that the craftsmen who capitalize on the displacement (i.e. hearing about major events first, because they are on Twitter) will remain at the top of their game.