#BBCtrending: Twitter Q&A with Anne-Marie Tomchak

  • 23 January 2014
Anne-Marie Tomchak

How do we work at BBC Trending? Do you trust news from social media? And what is the future of digital journalism? On Tuesday, presenter Anne-Marie Tomchak held a Twitter Q&A. In case you missed it, here it is.

Q from@NightingaleTz: Social media obviously has greater impact in terms of engagement. How do we ensure the content is authentic?

A: We check authenticity with our User Generated Content team. Nuts & bolts of traditional journalism still apply.

Q from@FoodChainsFilm: If views on Twitter and Facebook are not representative of news organisations that journalists represent, what's their validity?

A: Opinions on social media are an indication of what's popular. But not the accurate measure of sentiment.

Q from@Waves4Days: Real journalism is dead. You report what you're told and censor the truth. What happened to real investigations?

A: I disagree. Our report on drugs being offered on Instagram is an example of an investigation that had a real impact.

Q from@KamrenTt: Is the future of journalism in danger of becoming "too social"? A New York Times intern wrote most read article of 2013

A: The very nature of social will change in the future. We combine social and traditional news tools. That will continue.

Q from@MattNavarraUK: Which social media tools and apps does #BBCtrending use to monitor/analyse/publish on its various social media channels?

A: @BBCtrending uses tools such as Topsy and Social Flow. Software includes internal CMS and Final Cut Pro.

Q from@bettywaitherero: What criteria does #BBCTrending use to pick trends? Do you go by country or by salient issues?

A: We try to pick a trend that's on the rise. We get context from our network of journalists worldwide. #BBCtrending

Q from@AbiMorrish: Is Twitter now the default go-to destination for journalists for story creation? Lazy or practical journalism?

A: It's one of the places journalists use to find and break news. The traditional forms of newsgathering remain.

Q from@legalistical: We need more and brightening African stories to be told.

A: Agreed. We're covering more African trends. E.g. last week #africannationsinhighschool and #ThingsToLoveAboutSouthSudan

Q from@Classic_Choco: Forgive me for asking, but is #BBCtrending new? How does it operate?

A: Yes, #BBCtrending launched in November. We get to the journalism behind social media trends on video, radio and our blog.

Q from@aakritik: Does social media lead to false info with people competing to break news first? What's the solution?

A: Very interesting question that also applies to rolling TV news. It's always more important to be right than to be first.

Q from@PhotoLower: How will civilian journalism change the way professional journalists report the news in a digital era?

A: It already has. We encounter much more user generated content now. They key is verification. And transparency.

The conversation continued at Anne-Marie's personal account.

Do you have a subject you would like us to discuss in a Twitter Q&A? Or a guest you would like us to have on? Tweet us @BBCtrending

Some tweets have been edited for clarity