Twitter's Dorsey named Cannes Lions Media Person of 2012

Jack Dorsey: Twitter co-founder is Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year
Jack Dorsey: Twitter co-founder is Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year

Jack Dorsey, the creator, co-founder and executive chairman of Twitter, is set to be recognised as the Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year in the south of France next month, for creating "an entirely new way for people to communicate".

The birth of the micro-blogging service Twitter can be tracked back through Dorsey's life experience.

Originally from St Louis, an early fascination for mass-transit and how cities function took Dorsey to New York, where he began programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles.

Throughout this work, he witnessed thousands of workers in the field, constantly updating where they were and what they were doing, and came up with the idea for a site that could combine the broad reach of dispatch software, with the ease of instant messaging.

Within a short period, he had built a simple site, Twitter, where users could instantly post short messages of 140 characters or less, known as "Tweets." On 21 March 2006, Dorsey posted the world's first Tweet: "Just setting up my twttr."

Since then, Twitter has become a communication platform with more than 140 million active users around the world, including 10 million in the UK.

Philip Thomas, chief executive of Cannes Lions, said: "Since inventing Twitter in 2006, Jack Dorsey has, in an incredibly short space of time, brought to the world an entirely new way for people to communicate, share ideas, and learn new things.

"It has become, in the meantime, a powerful social and political force, and is now part of the everyday global media language. The power and simplicity of what he has created has made Twitter a social phenomenon, and we are delighted to honour Jack with this award."

Dorsey will be honoured during the Press, Design, Radio and Cyber Lions awards ceremony on the evening of 20 June in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes.

Each year, the festival presents the Media Person of the Year Award to a prominent personality considered influential in the development of today’s media landscape, and playing an integral part in shaping the future of the creative industry.

Last year, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt was named the Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year.

Other past recipients of the Media Person of the Year Award include: Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook; Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft; Sir Anthony O’Reilly, CEO of Independent News & Media; Tsuneo Watanabe, chairman and editor-in-chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings; Sumner Redstone, chairman and CEO of Viacom and Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner.

Follow Arif Durrani on Twitter @DurraniMix

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