Twitter 101 For Journalists

Twitter launched in 2006. Today, it has become an increasingly important part of how people get news. One-third of adults under 30 get news on social networks, and about a third of Twitter users follow a news organization or individual journalists.

Twitter Lingo
username – Twitter alias
tweet – a message on Twitter, maximum of 140 characters
follow – selecting users to follow
reply or respond using @username
retweet – repost a message sent by another user, often marked with RT
hashtag – identify a subject trending on Twitter using #. Hashtags make it easier to group or search for tweets on that topic.

Twitter’s “Big Journalism Debut
The 2008 Mumbai attacks were more than ten coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India’s largest city, by Muslim terrorists from Pakistan. It lasted nearly three days, killing at least 173 people and wounding at least 308. People used Twitter to report news from the scene. Reporters used Twitter to track developments, find sources, and report the story. See Hash Mumbai YouTube Video

Twitter As A Reporting Tool
Read Twitter offers advice to journalists (Mashable)
Read 10 ways journalists can use Twitter before, during, and after a story (Poynter)
Read What every young journalist should know about using Twitter (Poynter)
Read What I Learned in Joplin (Brian Stelter)
Read Considering the ethics of using Twitter for journalism (Poynter)
Twitter has created a guide for newsrooms
Muck Rack has become a major hub for journalists using Twitter
100 Twitter accounts every journalism student should follow

How to Begin
-Set up a Twitter account. You might create a separate account for your beat/blog that is distinct from your personal account.
-Add it to your blog widgets.
-Track your news niche – Follow 20 to 50 people/organizations related to your topic.
-Develop sources.
-Generate story ideas.
-Live tweet an event.
-Share your work.
-Ask for feedback.
-Develop your own style/tone/strategy.

Oh yeah…you can eventually get paid to do this, like a recent Rowan grad.

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About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine, Slate.com, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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One Response to Twitter 101 For Journalists

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