There’s a mini war going on in battleground Twitter. For those of you following journalists in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, you will no doubt have come across a tweet or ten about proposed changes to code of conduct policies governing Parliament Hill. It’s bad policy. It’s good policy. It’s not being proposed the right way. You get the gist.

What I’ve always liked about Twitter is that the platform allows the rest of us to peek into the press gallery fishbowl to see how its members interact with one another. Journalists are constantly reading each other’s work ready with an opinion. They are competitors but also colleagues. The media ecosystem is increasingly complicated and for many, understanding the way political news is produced remains a mystery.

On Twitter, we can watch a journalist explain how she got to her facts in response to criticism. We can watch her react to new developments in a story and decide what to do with any new information. And yes, we can watch press gallery members hash out a disagreement about their code of conduct in a public forum””no matter how tedious that discussion might be.

There are all kinds of useful pieces of information we can glean from these Twitter conversations that help us put news (and news production) into perspective. While there is much more complexity beyond what Twitter is able to convey, I still find it reassuring that we have an opportunity to peak into the fishbowl every now and then.

Derek Antoine
Derek Antoine is a PhD candidate and instructor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. His research interests are in Indigenous communication and social movements, political communication, and the role of communication technology in culture. He can be found on Twitter @derekantoine or his website, derekantoine.com.

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