Bruni and Sarkozy: How two tweets have made twits out of many British journalists

It seems that two tweets can make a twit out of a great many journalists.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that just two anonymous postings on the social media site Twitter were behind the extensively reported story that Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni might be having marital problems. The slender sourcing didn’t stop the paper devoting 1,600 words to the story.

The rumours were largely ignored in the French press (possibly because if a French premiere was NOT having an affair that would be news). But it is all still getting massive play here.

Stephen Glover, writing in The Independent today, says this should provide a lesson for British journalists in the way we report foreign news:

“A Twitter rumour alleging adultery on the part of a home-grown politician would not be taken up so eagerly by British newspapers. France is treated differently because it is across the Channel, and can be partly imagined. Carla and the President also both look as though they might have affairs, but that does not mean they have. We apply more stringent standards to rumours about our own politicians.”

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