summit_3-10.jpgThe first panel at the TVNewser Summit was slated to have some fireworks, and it didn’t disappoint. Tammy Haddad moderated the group, and engaged the audience.

The overriding focus was Twitter. BBC’s Rome Hartman, who says he’s “somehow been branded the Howard Beale of Twitter,” has mixed feelings. “As a newsgathering tool it’s hugely important,” he said. But, it furthers “mass self-absorption.”

ABC News’ Rick Klein thinks it’s necessary. “I think if people are getting their information in new, different ways, then we should be a part of it,” he said.

NBC’s Jim Long, who’s very active on Twitter, said, “If used properly…it gives you the opportunity to feel and understand the people you’re trying to serve.”

As for the Web-based panelists, Michael Meyers said the Web will have it’s own “niche.” “We’re going to own breaking news,” he said, while traditional media will have “highly synthesized well-thought out content.” The point was argued by members of the panel.

Rachel Sterne talked about the monetary possibility on the Web. “A news audience is probably the best audience you can get online,” she said. “It’s an attractive demographic.”

“The audience has to get bigger, and it has to get different,” said Klein.

At the end of the session, Haddad presented Hartman with a parting gift. Take a look: