How Journalists Are Using Twitter

Written by Alecia Swasy, who is the Donald W. Reynolds Chair in Business Journalism at Washington & Lee University. She is the author of “How Journalists Use Twitter: The changing landscape of U.S. newsrooms.”

“One early advantage: Twitter allows the 24/7 monitoring of reporters’ beats. A reporter’s nighty ritual now includes one last check of Twitter before nodding off.”

“The new rule was: If you don’t have it on Twitter first, it’s not a scoop.”

“One of the most interesting things I found was Twitter’s emergence as the new phone directory. A school reporter in Dallas used Twitter to find students and parents by searching key words on the latest buzz in the schoolyard.”

Many of us in journalism are addicted to Twitter. It’s a professional tool for following breaking news, sharing insights, finding story ideas, and promoting work, but it’s also more than that. Twitter is a social environment unto itself, one in which reporters often spend more time than in actual, real-world social environments.”



A Simple Guide for Newbie Journalists

A simple step-by-step guide to what student journalists need to know about Twitter


A Comprehensive Guide

Some Highlights:

“This tutorial provides both a basic introduction to Twitter and highlights the features that makes it a must-have tool for journalists.”

How Facebook and Twitter are different: “Facebook is organized across “the social graph,” which means most people follow people they’ve met. In contrast, Twitter is organized across “the interest graph,” which means people follow accounts that provide valuable information, whether they’ve met or not.”

“Finally, note that Twitter is likely the fastest way to get links to your site’s content into Google and other search engines.”

“Remember that Twitter is a social network. To make it work for your organization, you’ll need to be social, and engage with your readership.”

Don’t auto-pump tweets to Facebook”


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