Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Alastair Campbell tweets during Iraq inquiry


Today's appearance by @campbellclaret in front of the Iraq inquiry drew a predictable deluge of media coverage.

During the day Mr Campbell tweeted just 4 times - and only 3 of the Tweets were related to the Inquiry.

This was a master stroke, reflecting the sense that Campbell took the Inquiry serious enough to focus but allowing him to make a swift rebuttal to the media before the next day's print.

Contrast these two examples:



The Times leads on the Blair letters to Bush, suggesting this is new information. Campbell is able to correct this with one Tweet, which ensures his message has been heard by thousands who would otherwise only read the media version of the story.

(Incidentally, if you look from page 600+ of 'the Blair years'  you will find that Alastair Campbell is correct in that the letters are not a new story).

This is a perfect example of how the story has moved on before the print versions of the papers have even arrived through the letterbox.

The second insight was the sheer number of vitriolic Tweets from journalists attempting to pour scorn on Campbell. It revealed the vendetta behind the headlines and acts as an ironic counter-weight to the 'spin' the journalists were so against.

I won't name names here, if you follow today's feed you will see it for yourself.

So thank you Twitter, again you have made the news more real and more immediate than even the live BBC news feed - after all, that was delayed by one minute.

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