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Like 'Fight Club,' there are Twitter rules

May 18, 2009 | 11:13 am

Variety's Mike Schneider writes an amusing piece today about the challenges spin doctors are facing in a Twitter world. News of shows being picked up or canceled are being Twittered by producers or talent before the networks and studios have a chance to put their own slant on the story. That's one of the pros of Twitter. It is bringing down barriers and can help reporters gather information faster.

Fightclub But there are cons to Twitter that reporters should be mindful of as well. For example, a few weeks ago, NBC hosted an event to announce new shows. Reporters breathlessly Twittered each announcement with little analysis or thought and basically became part of NBC's public relations machine. The stenography served no one but the network.

Reporters also need to be mindful of what they tweet. At least one entertainment conglomerate is already tracking reporters on Twitter and keeping an eye on anything that smacks of bias toward a subject or a company that it can no doubt later use if it sees coverage it does not like.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Brad Pitt in "Fight Club," by Merrick Morton / 20th Century Fox