Breaking Tweets, Blades style

Breaking Tweets is a website I’ve seen a couple of references to in the past day, and started following myself.

Its group of 28 editors compile news events and Tweets about those events into a story with a traditional type of introduction and then a selection of Tweets about the event. They often come from people on the ground (such as at the G20 protests) and provide a unique kind of view about the news. From the Breaking Tweets website:

The site has two main goals: 1. to help people enhance their worldview or perspective of global events; 2. to increase dialogue about international news and make the world smaller through conversation and interaction, both on this site and on Twitter.

So I thought, what would this look like in Saskatoon? In general, since joining Twitter last months (yes, still a newbie!), I’ve found that Saskatonians aren’t all that keen on Twitter yet, in comparison to some larger U.S. cities. This isn’t surprising. But there are enough of them Twittering that my first experiment in Breaking Tweets — Saskatoon style was a moderate success.

Saskatoon Blades lose Game 7

The Saskatoon Blades lost Game 7 of their first-round playoff series to the Lethbridge Hurricanes last night (April 1). It’s a sad ending to a promising season. A few Saskatoon and Lethbridge fans tweeted along to the game.

Here are some of the Tweets. I chose the ones that had a bit more colour to them, rather than a play-by-play feel. (You can read the play-by-play twitter feed at

thebatlab (Saskatoon): heading to the Blades game, long line on Idylwyld, should be a packed house!

iluvsmooches (Saskatoon): Saskatoon Blades…down by one…1st period 5:50..dang it

RossRaymond (Lethbridge): Blades pull the goalie at 55 seconds… Canes Ice it and a face off in there zone

Lola1970: The Blades lost the game. My 4 year old accidently through popcorn down the back of the pants of the guy in front of us though. Entertaining

JaniceOwen (Good ole’ Saskabush): is embarassed to be a hockey fan in Saskatoon..not because of the Blades…but because how APATHETIC the fans are here! QUIET arena!

DanaeJ (Saskatoon): blades are done

Value of Breaking Tweets?

I think this is a cute way to add colour to a story. But does that contradict the argument I made earlier about how quoting only from Internet sources (event pages, Facebook, blogs, etc.) is lazy journalism?

To be honest, maybe. But in the example I used of the Earth Hour story (which quoted from nine sources, seven of which were online and two of which were from interviews), that story used online sources in place of interviews. And that’s why I thought it was lazy.

The Breaking Tweets format doesn’t pretend to replace traditional journalism. It’s meant to add value. As the Breaking Tweets website says: “Generally, each story will link to a media outlet of authority for brief background information on the news topic and for those seeking more information.”

I also think that, for mass media, this could be a great way to involve readers and make good use of a social networking site.


1 Response to “Breaking Tweets, Blades style”

  1. 1 Craig Kanalley April 2, 2009 at 14:56

    I’m glad you ran across the site, undeadjournalist. I enjoyed reading your feedback. I particularly liked your Saskatoon Blades application, both as a hockey fan and the founder of

    You must have read our mind because on Sunday we are launching Breaking Tweets Sports. Mind if we use your Saskatoon example as our first story for the site, giving you credit of course? I can DM you details if you want – I’m @ckanal. Thanks for writing about us and hope you continue to follow the project.

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