Twitter proved to be efficacious for online journalism

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Twitter proved to be more efficient than other social media platforms especially for journalists to draw much attention from their audiences. Through technology, the use of social media has become ubiquitous, creating is more interaction between the audiences. Journalists if not all, are paying much attention to Twitter following politicians and celebrities so that they get the latest stories from their tweets and make their news.

Twitter is a platform where the user can follow and be followed by anyone and can also unfollow anyone at any time. Most Journalists and politicians have a large number of followers and they also follow different trends to follow based on their targeted audiences. These trends have also been managed by different people who have different thoughts and they can post anything good or bad. People are free to comment, like and retweet so that their followers can see it too.

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Twitter ply for the categories of sites and users can choose whom to follow, for instance, Banks, Companies, Newspapers, Radio and Television stations, Political parties, Public figures just to mention a few, they have Twitter accounts. Social media creates interactivity, with the guide of hypertexts, users will be connected from one site to another inline with their categories of choices. Online journalism offers a room to correct their mistakes, they can delete the mistakable post and replace it.

People can find old stories or post on Twitter, some journalists will then take those old stories, modify them and resend to the people, by so doing, fake news is produced. In Zimbabwe as a reference, only 40 % of the population has access to the internet the rest are in rural areas cut off by the digital divide. So many people living in remote areas they do not know what will be happening on Twitter unless or otherwise sent via WhatsApp which is accessible to almost everyone.

Democracy is also noted on how the journalists participate on social media. Politically in Zimbabwe, the journalists have no freedom of expression as stated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013) section 61.5, it takes the rights away by the state, free of state and freedom of media excludes insight violence, advocacy of hated or hate speech, excludes malicious injury to persons’ reputation or the person’s injury. These conditions are not defined anywhere in the construction.

Due to digital harassment and implied threats, people will end up creating ghosts account on social media platforms this when one create an account using a fake name just to get access to the information posted on social media platforms and also give his opinions without anyone noticing his identity. For example, Baba Jukwa. However, the Zimbabwean government enacted the Cybercrime and Cyber Security Bill (2017) which clearly stated that fake names are prohibited.

Eventually, Twitter is catering online journalism to a greater extent because all activities trending on Twitter will be distributed to other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and also WhatsApp.However, in Zimbabwe the journalists are being limited by specific laws and regulations.

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