In this post, we will tell you about the Twitter Campaign in Support of Press Freedom to Support Local Journalists and will tell you when Twitter is going to launch it.
Twitter Campaign in Support of Press Freedom
This is interesting. Twitter has today launched a replacement campaign in support of local journalists as a part of World Press Freedom Day, which has full-page ads in various newspapers promoting Twitter lists of journalists to follow, also as new teaching programs and funding to support open press coverage.
As explained by Twitter:
“As journalists still selflessly report from the front lines of conflicts, within the face of hostile interests, and, especially during this past year, risk their personal health to hide a worldwide pandemic, we believe it’s pivotal that they and their industry are supported.”
This is particularly interesting immediately, as Twitter continues to grapple with Indian Government requests for restrictions on anti-Government sentiment, alongside other regimes that are pushing for more control over social media platforms, and what’s published by their citizens.
Twitter, in many cases, has been forced to go with such rulings – so while the platform could also be pushing for press freedom, there is a fairly strong conflict within this approach.
Either way, Twitter’s looking to, a minimum of outwardly, advocate for press freedom.
The main element, as noted, is a new, full-page advertising Twitter campaign, which is running in 28 local newspapers across us, to market its #FollowLocalJournalists initiative.
Some More Features Of New Twitter Campaign
As you’ll see here, the ads direct people to scan within the QR code at rock bottom, which links through to Twitter Lists of local journalists, created by each newspaper and by Twitter’s team.
That gives people a more direct thanks to staying in-tuned with the newest news coverage from these correspondents, with Twitter’s real-time nature providing more time thanks to staying top of the newest news and announcements.
This may be a great use of Twitter – but again, there’s an issue over Twitter’s capacity to face up for press freedom outside the US, which is often being challenged – likely even more so now within the wake of the Trump Presidency.
The view is that former President Trump’s use of Twitter highlighted just how influential Twitter is often, which has since seen many other world leaders looking to influence, and even control tweets, as a part of their efforts to take care of power and control within their respective regions.
Some of those censorship requests add up. In India, as an example, in various cases, the Indian Government has sought to limit misinformation around COVID-19. But in many other cases, the govt has also sought to eliminate criticism of its handling of the pandemic, which has included the removal of tweets from local journalists, and suspension of their accounts.
Twitter says that it’s removed these tweets in compliance with local laws, which indeed provide the Indian Government with the capacity to effectively implement censorship. While in Turkey, Twitter has been forced to suits Turkish officials with reference to controlling speech via tweets, with local Twitter representatives appointed to enact new content removal laws.
So while Twitter is promoting one thing, within the US specifically, there are parameters around its capacity to support press freedom in several regions.
This leads to subsequent elements of the new Twitter campaign – additionally to its newspaper ads, Twitter is additionally running a worldwide campaign to #FollowLocalJournalists.
“We’re encouraging everyone – national reporters, journalism advocacy organizations, and every day passionate news consumers – to share impactful samples of local journalism and elevate the reporters who contributed thereto. The goal is to spotlight these reporters’ work and increase their audience.”
So long as they are not, you know, banned by Twitter via Government decree.
Twitter has also organized Twitter Spaces events around the world, where users are going to be ready to hear directly from journalists about the problems facing their industry, including events within the Philippines, Myanmar, India, Japan, and Brazil.
Launch Date Of New Twitter Campaign
Twitter has not officially announced the launch date but soon they will launch it. Firstly it will be for Beta users then it will be available for all.
And finally, Twitter also will provide training and ‘Ads for Good’ grants to varied non-profit organizations that provide support for journalists around the world.
Overall, it’s good to ascertain Twitter looking to amplify journalists directly – which initiative, in some ways, also aligns with the platform’s new push into newsletters, and facilitating the more direct connection between journalists and their audience, which could also help to support ongoing press freedom.
But as noted, there also are conflicts within this.
It’s one thing to advocate for freedom of the press, and another to match that against the company’s business interests, and therefore the got to suits local restrictions around such, so as to satisfy stated requirements.
Given this, it is a promotion that sits a touch uneasy and feels a touch more PR-like than Twitter would have intended.