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This just in…to Twitter.

CNN’s breaking news service on Twitter (cnnbrk) has 2.7M followers. Here are all of its posts since August 24, a month’s worth:

Legally insane killer who escaped in Washington state has been captured, authorities say PM Sep 20th
Man in terror probe charged with making false statements AM Sep 20th

FBI agents raid the home of Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado resident, questioned in an alleged terrorist plot in the U.S. PM Sep 19th

Source: Man at center of terror probe admits al Qaeda ties #terror6:11 PM Sep 18th

Lab tech arrested in killing of Yale graduate student, police say AM Sep 17th

Arrest imminent in Yale student killing, authorities say AM Sep 17th

More resources being brought to New York in connection with terror probe that triggered raids this week – PM Sep 16th

Election board: Karzai has more than 50 percent of Afghan presidential vote; irregularities still being examined – AM Sep 16th

Iraqi man who threw his shoes at then-President Bush released from jail on good behavior #Iraq3:51 AM Sep 15th

Police: Missing Yale student case is a homicide PM Sep 13th

Mayor: Blagojevich fundraiser told police he overdosed before death PM Sep 13th

FBI source: Serial bank robbery suspect arrested AM Sep 13th

Key Blagojevich player is dead, ex-governor says PM Sep 12th

Shuttle lands in California #shuttle #nasa #discovery7:56 PM Sep 11th

Anti-abortion activist shot dead, Michigan officials say – AM Sep 11th

Sources: Coast Guard incident a ‘training exercise’ AM Sep 11th

Coast Guard confronts boat as Obama visits Pentagon, police scanner reports say shots fired AM Sep 11th

Former Taiwan president convicted on corruption charges #Taiwan3:17 AM Sep 11th

Mexican hijacking has ended peacefully; all passengers, crew safe, Mexican authorities say. #mexicocity3:19 PM Sep 9th

At least 5 suspects taken into custody after hijacked plane lands at Mexico City airport – #mexicocity3:09 PM Sep 9th

Crew held in hijacked commercial jet at Mexico City airport; passengers freed – #mexicocity3:02 PM Sep 9th

Source: Key Senate Democrat proposes dropping public option from heath-care reform AM Sep 7th

3 found guility of plotting to blow up planes on flights between Britain, U.S. and Canada. AM Sep 7th

Sudanese woman who wore pants escapes lashes, but faces fine AM Sep 7th

Suspect arrested in Georgia killings PM Sep 4th

Indonesia quake death toll at 25, could rise, agency says AM Sep 2nd

6 dead in #Indonesia after 7.0 magnitude #earthquake AM Sep 2nd

Pres. Obama remembers Ted Kennedy as “champion for those who had none; soul of Democratic Party; lion of U.S. Senate.” AM Aug 29th

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s body arrives at Boston church for his funeral, with President Obama set to deliver the eulogy. AM Aug 29th

The Los Angeles County coroner rules Michael Jackson’s death a homicide – #michaeljackson1:45 PM Aug 28th

August deadliest month for U.S. military in Afghanistan since 2001 invasion — 46 dead AM Aug 28th

Author Dominick Dunne dies #dominickdunne4:00 PM Aug 26th

Kennedy to be buried at Arlington Cemetery, Defense Dept. official says – #kennedy11:10 AM Aug 26th

Sen. Edward Kennedy died Tuesday night after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77. AM Aug 26th

Chris Brown sentenced to 5 years probation in Rihanna assault #rihanna PM Aug 25th

33 die in Afghan car bomb incident AM Aug 25th

Justice Department asks prosecutor to examine legality of CIA interrogations #cia #torture2:07 PM Aug 24th


Total: 38
terrorism: 9
death: 20
Countries mentioned: US, Afghanistan (3), Taiwan, Mexico, Britain, Indonesia, Canada
Plain old crime (non-terrorist): 11
Percentage of tweets that contain actual news: 28.95%

I grant that there’s some subjectivity (=total subjectivity) in deciding what’s actual news. Nevertheless, Google News Timeline will show you at least some of the other events that happened during this month. And this query at Google News will list the 6,600 articles posted during the past month, of which these 38 are not the most important, except by some radical redefinition of importance, of news, and of CNN’s dignity.

3 Responses to “This just in…to Twitter.”

  1. Hi, typo: You have link display text as “ccnbrk” not “cnnbrk” first sentence above. Link is correct however.

  2. Thanks. I fixed it.

  3. Turns out that what we’d expect to be the alert system on top of a news pyramid that is neatly prioritized and filtered along the lines of CNN’s journalistic values and global scope is in fact a dripple of quite arbitrarily picked news with a strong bias for US domestic crime and death.
    Well, that brings up 2 questions for me. The first, Why?, is less important. One scenario is that the rise of the number of followers into the millions has just not been noticed yet by senior mgmt; another, less likely, scenario that is that the selection of news tweetworthy is based on an analysis of retweets and clicked links. The latter is less likely because in that case, CNN would sure use this channel more.
    Question 2 is: how much of a problem is this? If a channel doesn’t fulfil the role we all expect it to play in our information ecology, is that just a misunderstanding, a mistake, or social sabotage (like the “News of the World”, the “Sun” or the “Bild-Zeitung”)? I’m personally somewhere between the second and third, but I’d like to hear other points of view.

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