CNN’s Twitter World Cup Coverage Wins Prestigious UK Journalism Award

CNN has just won a prestigious UK journalism award for its innovative use of Twitter to cover the 2010 World Cup.

The Royal Television Society, established as the Television Society in 1927 – nine years before regular public television broadcasting even began – has acknowledged CNN in the “Innovative News” category of its annual TV journalism awards. This television journalism award pre-dates even the popular distribution of broadcasting itself, and in recognizing a traditional media outlet’s use of new media, it has identified a convergence point between the old and the new that is re-shaping global media.

CNN teamed up with Twitter during the 2010 World Cup and showed both web and TV audiences just how social media was being used during the games. They created an interactive visualization of the conversations pertaining to the World Cup on Twitter, enabling audiences to see how people were using social media to discuss the events.

The goal of Twitter Buzz was to put World Cup fans at the heart of the games’ coverage. It displayed a visualization of World Cup teams, players and topics, and the more something was tweeted, the larger its image would appear. In total, Twitter Buzz filtered through more than 11 million World Cup-related tweets worldwide.

Twitter Buzz was created in-house, and supported by CNN’s team of journalists, tech staff, designers, marketers and sales staff.

By using Twitter to provide live, real-time, on-the-ground reactions to the World Cup, CNN has embraced a form of citizen journalism made possible only through Twitter and other social media. Displaying tweets in the aggregate, CNN was able to paint a picture of the general sentiment of soccer fans around the world, tapping into Twitter’s instant and pervasive social information stream. The fact that CNN won a high-profile journalism award from an organization that nearly predates TV itself shows the way that social media is being integrated into, and is, at times, changing, traditional media and news coverage.

You can check out CNN’s 2010 World Cup Twitter Buzz online.