How Covering Black Twitter is like Covering [Insert Country Name]

GVlogo_blacktwitterThe Los Angeles Times has hired a writer called Dexter Thomas to cover Black Twitter and other online communities. The Columbia Journalism Review interviewed Thomas in this piece, which focuses primarily—and perhaps predictably—on how he will approach Black Twitter. There are several points in the article where I thought Thomas could have been talking about GV.

An obvious example:

Basically, I’m interested in online—and offline—communities. Primarily, I’m interested in minorities, and I think that the way that they’re covered makes no sense. Mainstream media often treats groups as though they are monolithic, with no variety or differentiation of opinion within that group. Entire populations are made into caricatures.

Anyone else find the article interesting? Relevant? Uninteresting? Irrelevant? Which parts of it, if any, has particular resonance for you?

I'd love to hear more in the comments.


  • I found the interview interesting and relevant and not only because it was about Black Twitter. True, it seems some of it could be an interview of a GV author/editor. I also like that Dexter Thomas is talking about newer ways to engage, for example:
    “The story may not be in the newspaper, it may all happen on Twitter. It could involve me interviewing someone on Twitter instead of taking their tweet and slapping a headline on it, and turning it into a listicle…There will be sometimes that I’m writing a story on a phenomenon that I see existing. But there may be a time that I’m actually reaching out to people to participate in something and contribute something. It’s not one or the other. Actually, I don’t see a difference between the two.”

  • I think these discussions are important to help humanizing and stop exoticizing groups of people. The balance is difficult when you need to describe communities’ lives as both singular and universal… and also when you have to choose the audience who will read it.

    Who are the ones not being informed about a certain region? The ‘representation’ we talk about so much is representation before whom? Of course, we talk about mainstream media and how its images permeate the perception of many outside the West. But the words we use to cover what we see in the world are always changing, always evolving, and sometimes they become insufficient.

    For me, a “black” conversation on Twitter makes sense when the eyes reading about it are “white”, or come from a “white” perspective…

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