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I'm an assistant professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where I teach and research how news sites can better reach their audiences. I received my Ph.D. from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri where I was one of the founding editors of MyMissourian.com, a citizen journalism site for Columbia, Mo. Before graduate school, I worked as a community newspaper editor in Southern Utah and Southern California.

OchoCinco finds good use for Twitter

At least half a dozen items on my list of blogging have to do with Twitter. But what finally gets me off my butt to discuss the journalistic implications of this technology, again: Chad OchoCinco.

Seems like the Cincinnati Bengals receiver used Twitter to plan his Lambeau Leap on Sunday. At least that’s what Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports columnist, is reporting in this good piece of investigative journalism. I really didn’t mean that to be sarcastic. I’m going to show this to my classes to teach them about how those little things that nag at you make good stories. I’m surprised the Sentinel doesn’t have this on the front page.

I can only imagine what it was like for these fans to receive four free front-row tickets in the mail. Reading this story confirms to me that Twitter can bring people together in a way other media can’t, and it makes me wonder why sports leagues and journalists are so quick to condemn it.

OchoCinco is a doofus. This is the guy who legally changed him last name from Johnson just so he could put improper Spanish on the back of his shirt. His antics are goofy, no question. But I can’t see how the publicity over his antics are bad for him or the league, especially on the day when another star receiver is going to jail for two years. I also can’t see how Twitter is to blame for his or any other NFL player’s problems.

The key to Twitter from a journalistic standpoint is to recognize it for what it is: another way to transmit information. It can be used for good or evil. The good will often be overwhelmed by a lot of noise, but those that learn to use it effectively will get their message to the right audiences, just like OchoCinco did.

2 Responses to “OchoCinco finds good use for Twitter”

  1. Mal #

    You rock Hans! Glad to hear your blogging voice again!

    And you are right – OchoCinco is a nut! :).

    October 10, 2009 at 2:03 am
  2. Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.

    October 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

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