More on Twitter as a reporting tool
Jennifer Woodard Maderazo has a good roundup of how Twitter has made her a better reporter, (but she also notes that it is a time suck to.) Here are some of her examples of how it's worked for news:
Twitter users in Southern California during the wildfires used the tool to do local reporting for the benefit of neighbors. Even for people who were evacuated and didn’t have a computer, they could follow the updates on their cell phones. Twitter users were also able to broadcast live updates on the Minnesota bridge collapse just minutes after it happened and before many news outlets could get the details out to the public.
The Iowa Caucuses were also covered by citizen journalists via Twitter, filling in the gaps left by local and national coverage. It also proved to be a good way to keep up with the results on Super Tuesday. We’ve also seen mainstream media embrace Twitter and other new media tools for reporting on important, time-sensitive stories.
More recently, Twitter was at least partially responsible for the release of a young journalist jailed in Egypt, who used his cell phone to send a one word cry for help: “Arrested.”