Friday December 16, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC [Update December 26, 2022: After a few days, Musk reversed his decisions about blocking the journalists, but made his point about why would it be necessary to track and post his whereabouts.]
Editorial commentary by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Twitter has suspended the accounts of journalists who cover the social media platform and its new owner Elon Musk, including reporters working for The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN.
This is clearly an abuse of the power of publishing, that comes along with responsibilities to society at large.
Suspending some journalist accounts puts Musk at odds with the stated Twitter mission to be an open and informational town hall.
The main role of journalism is to inform the public on anything that shapes the day, an issue, or broader social concerns.
Musk’s impetuousness and brilliance are key to his visionary business success. But dabbling in the broader rights of society requires more insight and finesse than he has demonstrated so far.
IST still on Twitter:
Island Social Trends (IST) continues to participate on Twitter because it’s a platform that reaches many sectors of the society and economy, and does indeed perform as a global ‘town hall’ as Musk has described it.
In fact, Twitter describes itself this way: “Twitter is what’s happening and what people are talking about right now.”
It’s important to see and hear the views of a broad range of contributors, even if you don’t agree with them. That’s the best way to stay informed, and that’s what journalism is charged with as its main responsibility.
It seems at odds that Musk would ban ‘other voices’ while trumpeting the view that Twitter is for everyone.
Second richest man:
Elon Musk — who is technically now the second-richest man in the world — is the founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX. He purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022.
Forbes Magazine called Musk’s purchase of Twitter as “the most significant development in the world of social media in a long time”.
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Mary P Brooke has founded a series of publications that at their core are about examining society from all key angles including economy, politics, education and health.
Ms Brooke first launched MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), which morphed into the print weekly Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), then the weekly print/PDF West Shore Voice News (2014-2020), before going entirely online as the Island Social Trends digital news portal in mid-2020.
Mary keenly upholds the principles of professional journalism and the role of journalism within democracy. Her freelance career began in the 1980s, including winning the McGeachy Prize in Journalism from the University of Saskatchewan. She launched, owned and operated a monthly business tabloid newspaper in Regina n the mid 1980s. Relocating to Victoria, BC in 1985, Ms Brooke has built the Brookeline Publishing House Inc suite of services around publishing (for corporate communications and organizations, as well as news), marketing, curriculum development and journalism. She ran a retail print shop 2010-2013.
Mary is now 68 and going strong as a contributor in her community and the news business. She is the mother of four grown children who are similarly making a significant impact in their careers and communities.