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‘Twitter is impacting writing, journalism’

On the second day of the Literature Live festival held at the NCPA, a panel of editors discussed writing in the age of Twitter, and how the social network and its 140 character limit is forcing writing to evolve.

books Updated: Nov 02, 2012 02:01 IST
Pankti Mehta

On the second day of the Literature Live festival held at the NCPA, a panel of editors discussed writing in the age of Twitter, and how the social network and its 140 character limit is forcing writing to evolve.

The panelists included Vir Sanghvi, coulumnist and advisor for the Hindustan Times; Pritish Nandy, columnist and poet and Peter Griffin, editor – special features, ForbesLife India. Sachin Kalbag, executive editor, Mid Day, moderated the session.

According to the panel, Twitter has played a part in changing the way we look at writing. “Twitter has showed us how to tell stories in short,” said Nandy. “With diminishing attention spans, I'm not sure a verbose work like the Ulysses will ever be written again, and the social network plays a great part in that,” he added.

However, while Griffin thinks writing for Twitter can be a genre in itself, such as writing a haiku, Nandy and Sanghvi think it has yet to evolve into an end in itself. “It's part of a larger picture, a medium you can use to cross-promote your writings in other media,” said Nandy.

For Sanghvi, Twitter's impact on journalism is more apparent than its effect on writing. “It's still a relatively new medium, and I'm not certain yet how it will affect the novel,” he said. “But, it has changed journalism in important ways. We've learned to tell our stories shorter. While print has some space for faff, Twitter doesn't,” he added.