10 Twitter users that every journalism student should follow?

UPDATE: From the comments: similar lists now available for Norway and Sweden.

I will soon begin teaching my annual module in Online Journalism and one of the first things I get the students to do is set up a Twitter account. It’s often a struggle to demonstrate the usefulness of Twitter, so this time around, in addition to following each other, I’m going to give them 10 people to start following from the off. This is the list I’ve come up with – would welcome your suggestions for others:

  1. @davelee - former journalism student and excellent blogger who landed a plum job at the BBC after graduating. Get the point?
  2. @channel4news - example of how a news organisation can use Twitter in a personal, conversational way, rather than simply republishing its RSS feed (see also: @r4news, @mashable)
  3. @jemimakiss – likewise, example of a journalist using Twitter to involve readers in production, as well as just be a ‘real person’ (alternative: Mike Butcher).
  4. @jayrosen_nyu – journalism professor at New York University with excellent links and analysis on the news industry and online journalism (see also: @jeffjarvis)
  5. @digidickinson – Andy Dickinson, UK journalism lecturer and online video specialist. Ditto above. (alternative: @egrommet)
  6. @bhampostjoanna – Jo Geary of the Birmingham Post & Mail, uses Twitter brilliantly, and is so switched on there’s a power surge every time she wakes up. (alternatives: Sarah Hartley and Alison Gow)
  7. @shanerichmond – Communities Editor at The Telegraph, knows his onions. (alternative: Martin Stabe)
  8. @documentally - vlogger, moblogger, social media man, has worked with Reuters and others
  9. This is a local choice so you would probably have a local equivalent, but @peteashton founded local arts blog Created In Birmingham, which recently won Best UK Blog. Every journalism student should be following – and talking with – people like this in their area. One good place to find out is by searching twitter.grader.com for your area
  10. Likewise, @tom_watson is a local MP, but is closely involved in campaigning for the release of government data to the public, and in the government’s digital communications generally. You may have a local or national equivalent.

Needless to say I’ll be suggesting they use services like Twellow, Twitterlocal and Twits Like Me to find other users in their ‘beat’, but I think it helps get someone into a conversation quicker if they can see what other people are talking about – and how.

Over to you – who would you recommend…?

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48 thoughts on “10 Twitter users that every journalism student should follow?

  1. Adam Westbrook

    I’ve been putting quite a bit of practical advice on journalism picked up from my day-to-day work, mostly on radio journalism and video journalism on my blog. My twitter username is AdamWestbrook.

    Narcissism over.

    Reply
  2. Gemma K-R

    This is a useful starting point for students/wannabe students like me, so thanks! I’m still trying to figure out an effective way of using Twitter (my Twitter Grade is only 31/100…), and it’s helpful to see what the professionals are making of it.

    Personally I find myself either adopting a chatty style or being very formal, but I think Twittering is most engaging when you give followers the best of both worlds.

    http://twitter.com/gemkapram

    Reply
  3. Carlton Reid

    Anything to get Brits Twittering has got to be a good thing!

    The great majority of those who follow me are Americans. I exec edit the trade mag for bicycles – bikebiz.com, as well as other bike- and travel-related stuff – and am having great trouble getting Brit bike shops and companies on Twitter.

    I have a list of bikie Twitterers on the site but they’re mostly American. On the trade only forum I’ve had 600 reads of a posting about the business benefits of Twitter, yet only two UK bike shops (and no suppliers) subsequently set up Twitter accounts. http://tinyurl.com/biketweeters

    For the doubters, people like @wossy and @rustyrockets make them think Twitter is ‘Hello’ writ large. I try to prod them to follow interesting folks but it’s such an uphill struggle.

    Reply
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  7. Carlton Reid

    Really? Blimey. Says who?

    I’d have been really interested in those stats last week (still am, of course). I completed a DPS on Twitter for a lux biz mag and would have loved Brit/US breakdown.

    Reply
  8. Jorge Rocha

    some brazilian twitter users that every journalism student have to follow:
    @gpavoni, @raquelrecuero, @dpadua, @andredeak, @marioamaya, @antoun, @jdborges, @jasper, @evasques, @carlosdand, @gabizago, @danibertocchi, @markun, @tdoria, @sucohen, @alecduarte, @vanessanunes and, of course, me: @exucaveiracover

    Reply
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  10. David Klatt

    Thanks for this helpful post. Follow NPR’s Intern Edition @InternEdition

    Intern Edition is a web-based radio and multimedia show from National Public Radio (npr.org) in the U.S. We’re following the lead of @channel4news to bring our followers behind the scenes as our 20-something radio producers, photographers and web designers work with new web tools (Flickr, PRX) to produce the show.

    Follow us @InternEdition to learn more or visit our new blog http://www.npr.org/about/nextgen/internedition/spring09/blog/

    I should also recommend following @webbmedia (leading journalist/tech consultant Amy Webb) and @acarvin (senior social media producer at NPR).

    Best,
    David

    Reply
  11. Jon Bounds

    I’d also suggest to look at who these people are following — they have good “twitter sense” and it’ll help you to get wider with your networking.

    Twitter Grader is an “interesting tool”, but is pretty flawed location-wise. It bases it’s locations on the exact text in the location field in twitter, which are subject to people using the exact format you’re searching for. Twitter search’s tweets by location is much better – it uses real location data. So my (@bounder) location – set by iPhone to lat/long- is picked up for Birmingham, even though I haven’t got “Birmingham, UK” in the text box – (it doesn’t “rank” tweeters, tho’, you’ll have to decide who’s interesting for yourself).

    Reply
  12. Kyle Christie

    It does make for depressing reading, and it is mainly US-based, but all journalism students should follow @themediaisdying. It does give good news on occasion as well!

    Also @kdmc, the Knight Digital Media Center feed and Jeff Jarvis – @jeffjarvis

    Reply
  13. Rachel Bremer

    I’d highly recommend @JOHNABYRNE from BusinessWeek… he always gives great insight into the editorial process – what stories they are considering running, why the chose the cover story that they did, what’s getting read the most on the website, etc.

    Reply
  14. paulbradshaw

    @Jon thanks for the Twitter Search by location tip. I did notice that there were separate tables on Twitter Grader for “Birmingham UK”, “Birmingham, UK” and “Birmingham”

    Reply
  15. Katie

    @coloneltribune was the first news site I came across that didn’t bombard me with RSS feeds. I personally like the idea of a character if it suits the organization, but @ocreggie had an interesting approach as well. Different staff members take shifts, so the personality and the tweets vary depending on the person at the keyboard.

    Reply
  16. Ken Wheaton

    If the purpose is to make connections, following other journalists is fine (even if it does lead increasingly to the circle-jerk media mindset… of which i’m part of said circle!). You may have touched on this in a previous post, but you should also have them follow businesses as well. If you were following @starbucks this week, for example, you would have learned about them stopping the serving of decaf about 12 hours before any media outlets ran with it… and could have conceivably broken the story. All sorts of interesting stories and story ideas come bubbling up through Twitter. Local politicians are on as well as are PR people and speech writers. Sure, a lot of it is garbage, but you never know when you might be in the right place at the right time. … @kenwheaton

    Reply
  17. Colonel Tribune

    I like to think that I’m worth following..

    @wbez, @suntimes, @chicago_reader, @cbs2chicago, @timeoutchicago, @windycitizen, @redeyechicago and @gapersblock are all good, and each one takes a different approach.

    Reply
  18. Gillian Brouse

    I recommend Mathew Ingram, Online Communities Editor at the Globe and Mail, and frequent commentator on the evolution of journalism. @mathewi

    Reply
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  26. grovesprof

    It’s not just about journalism; it’s about community. Don’t forget to follow the people who are developing that community by being witty and offering 140-character commentary to keep up with the latest trends.

    My favs: @badbanana, @SeoulBrother, @nick.

    Warning: There are some rated R tweets in the offing….

    Reply
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  35. Billy Rivera

    This is an excellent list, Shari. I look forward to reading their tweets throughout the day. I think it would be a fun exercise to make a top 10 list of people you follow and why. My list would probably change on a weekly basis. Sometimes I can appreciate Roger Ebert’s tweets just as much as Perez Hilton.

    Reply
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