The spectacular demise of the Australian conservative party's leadership in November 2009 was a turning point for political journalism in the country. This is the third and final installment in a special MediaShift series (read part one here and part two here) about the transformative impact of the biggest Australian political story of 2009, which became known simply by its Twitter hashtag, #spill. The series is based on a case study featuring tweeting Canberra Press Gallery journalists, eight of whom I surveyed in the immediate aftermath of the story. The conservative leadership spill, which unfolded in real time over two of the longest weeks in the history of the Liberal-National coalition, highlighted the emergence of a new form of political communication via Twitter. This was characterized by instant, multi-contributor, user-controlled information feeds. These feeds accommodate the transmission of breaking news; instant reaction, critiques and analysis; and live interaction between the the Fourth Estate and citizens, with occasional input from politicians. The aggregation of Twitter discussion about the leadership crisis using the #spill hashtag enhanced Twitter's role as a journalistic platform for broadcast and audience engagement, and highlighted its emergence as a critical news source for Press Gallery journalists.
|Place of Publication||USA|
|Publisher||Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)|
|Media of output||Online|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|