Twitter accounts for journalists to follow



 

In an earlier article, I presented the basics of how Twitter works and how to use the service. imageKnowing how to use the service, though, is only part of the battle. Without knowing who to follow or obtaining followers, the service is practically useless.

Unless you have good information coming in, Twitter is quiet. Without people following your account, every tweet disappears into the darkness. Unfortunately, getting people to follow a Twitter account is a long, difficult process that requires a combination of publicity, putting out good tweets and interacting with other users. Luckily, finding people to follow and thus building a good “stream” to read is relatively easy. All one has to know is the types of account they want to follow and click the button to do so. Even then, finding good accounts to follow can be a challenge. So, to help with the process, here is a collection of Twitter accounts every journalist should consider following if they’re using Twitter for the first time.

TheMediaIsDying/TheMediaIsHiring/MediaIsThriving

The contentious relationship between print and online media is discussed in these two accounts. Run by the same individuals, they focus on the hard truth that layoffs and closures are common in the media world. However, the two accounts handle the current economic climate in print media in very different ways.
Themediaisdying reports on the closures and layoffs with brutal efficiency. Occasionally broken up by an upbeat tweet about a recent hiring, nearly every single tweet is about newspapers or magazines laying off employees, cutting back their publication schedules or outright closing.

The second account, themediaishiring attempts to help those that were laid off find new jobs. While the account posts the occasional job or new opportunity, most of the tweets are extremely short (140 characters or less) resumes. The goal is to help laid off journalists find new work, often in new media companies.

Finally, there is a third account entitled MediaIsThriving, that was created by another group to counter the first two accounts. It posts only positive stories about the news industry, including hirings and positive financial reports. 

As depressing as the first two feeds can be at times, especially in light of the global economy, they are potentially critical resources for journalists who want to keep on top of the current job market as well as those who wish to find new employment. The third one is important in that it reminds everyone that, even in the darkest times, there are plenty of reasons to be upbeat and positive.

News organisations

Many news organisations have started posting on Twitter as part of their web presence. Currently, Twitter strategies vary wildly from those who are using Twitter as a means to converse with readers to those that are using it simply to syndicate headlines. BBC, for example, operates dozens of Twitter accounts and often creates new ones for special events, like their account for the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Other prominent BBC Twitter users are Nick Gowing, the main presenter for BBC World News, Tim Weber, The BBC’s business editor, and Working Lunch, a popular business program on BBC2. The BBC does maintain a central Twitter account, which they recently reclaimed from a “squatter” who was using the name.

Other large news organisations using Twitter include the Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, The Guardian and the London Times, which use Twitter to publish headlines. However, by far the most popular Twitter news stream, according to Twitterholic,  belongs to CNN’s “Breaking News” account, which has nearly 130,000 followers.

The most popular online-only account is BNOnews, an online-only source, which has over 23,000 followers.



Other accounts

In addition to the accounts above, there are several other accounts journalists may be interested in following:

  1. MediaBistro: A site dedicated to helping journalists and others who work in “creative” fields obtain new skills, often through online classes, socialize and receive the latest news relevant to their careers.

  2. SocialMediaClub: Provides information on the best practices for promoting yourself and your company through social media as well as organises local clubs around the world.


  3. Digg Popular: Currently the most popular social news site. Its Twitter account automatically updates every time a new story makes it to the front page. Digg also provides Twitter accounts for many of their different sections.


  4. Mathew Ingram: Editor of the Globe and Mail, Ingram is a blogger and Twitter user that frequently talks about issues relating to journalism and new media.

  5. reporterAJ: Though just a reporter and journalist from Seattle, Andrea James has built an excellent Twitter account with a good mixture of headlines and conversation. Well worth looking at and studying.

While these accounts range from very popular to relatively unknown, they represent just some of the kinds of entities that are on Twitter that may be worth following and useful for finding new followers.

Conclusions

While there are a lot of Twitter accounts presented here, this barely scratches the surface of what is available on Twitter right now. In addition to the above links, hundreds of companies, especially technology companies, are using Twitter as well as countless celebrities, politicians and more.

Still, Twitter, above all else, is a great means to communicate with Internet users immediately, carry on a real-time conversation and get instant feedback on your work. Though the information the accounts above can provide is valuable, it is not as valuable as the direct dialogue that can take place on the service.

It is important to look at these accounts, as well as celebrity and other “broadcast” accounts, as a place to start.