Twitter 101 for Journalists

Twitter – a social networking and microblogging service launched in 2006.

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 10 ways journalists can use Twitter before, during, and after a story (Poynter)
Read What I Learned in Joplin (Brian Stelter)
Read Considering the ethics of using Twitter for journalism (Poynter)
Twitter has even created a guide for newsrooms
Muck Rack has become a major hub for journalists using Twitter

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 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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