Great editorial from the Guardian about the benefits of Twitter for news organizations. The top 15 reasons include news dissemination, powerful aggregation, altering notions of authority and — my favorite — being an agent of change. Alan Rusbridger writes:

As this ability of people to combine around issues and to articulate them grows, so it will have increasing effect on people in authority. Companies are already learning to respect, even fear, the power of collaborative media. Increasingly, social media will challenge conventional politics and, for instance, the laws relating to expression and speech.

Very true. Of course, at face value many of these reasons don’t seem to benefit the news outlets. (What newspaper wants to give up their authority?) But, these reasons and the corresponding increase in credibility that engagement delivers should persuade news organizations to get serious about Twitter.

The Guardian already has. Click here to read their social media guidelines, which effectively encourage their employees to get into conversations with readers via Twitter and Facebook. The Washington Post, on the other hand, recently issued rules to forbid such interaction.

Which move feels like it’s on the right side of history?