Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Twitter Use for Journalists

By: Luther Xue

As social media continues to evolve and become a larger part of our lives, it has become increasingly important for journalists to learn how to use these different mediums in order to make themselves a better reporter. One of these sites that is becoming an integral part of a journalists' repertoire is Twitter. So how exactly can a journalist use Twitter to their advantage?

One of the biggest advantages of Twitter is that it is a huge crowd-sourcing tool. Ask your followers any question you want and then sit back as the answers come flowing in. For example Jason DeRusha (@derushaj), a TV reporter in Minnesota, uses his Twitter account to ask about what kind of stories his viewers want to see covered. He used it to great effect for a Christmas story when he asked his viewers if they knew anyone that had allergies towards Christmas trees. One of his viewers replied that her allergies were so bad, she had to wear a full body suit in order to put her tree up. This kind of stuff wouldn't have happened if DeRusha did not have a tool like Twitter.

Another way for a journalist to use Twitter, according to this story,is that it provides an outlet for journalists to share the stories they write as well as providing a way for readers to share the stories that they like with the their friends and family. It's important for journalists to get their stories out into the public now that newspapers are struggling. What better way than to put links up on your Twitter site, where you can have thousands of followers.

Journalists can connect with their readers in ways that they have never been able to before, like this article says. One on one conversations are now easy to do and readers are able to pose questions that they want covered to the journalist. Sources can be easy to find and the journalist becomes more of a reachable figure for the anyone that follows him or her.

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