Local TV’s Top Tweeters Carry Clout
Station reporters say microblogging more than a fad
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/28/2010 12:01:00 AM
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While reporters are dabbling in all social media these days, some say Twitter offers a savvier crowd than Facebook. While Facebook offers loads of user feedback, Twitter features more real-time news tips. “It’s a great way to mine stories,” says WXYZ Detroit anchor Stephen Clark, who has 1,500 followers.
News directors add that it’s an effective means for keeping tabs on what the competition is working on, and another platform for disseminating news when they’re unable to go live on the air. “It’s like a wire service for me,” says Gary Holmes, news director at Time Warner Cable’s Albany, N.Y., news channel YNN. “I don’t know a news director in town who has time to read the newspaper cover to cover. Twitter does that for you.”
Hatched in 2006, Twitter is the Wild West for journalists, with few best practices to share and often little guidance from corporate types. Few general managers tweet regularly (KOLD Tucson’s Debbie Bush, with 1,386 followers, is one exception), and even fewer group executives do so; clearly, many people running stations think “hash tag” is the latest party game played by the local college kids.
Raycom Director of New Media Content Charles Gray believes that should change. “We really encourage our stations to put the people who best get the medium on the task,” Gray says. “If it’s not the anchor, that’s OK.” Gray does cite WWBT Richmond anchor Ryan Nobles, who has issued 6,400 tweets to 2,200 followers, sharing the news one day on Twitter after WWBT had been knocked off the air.
Wood, 45, says newsies who don’t partake in social media lack an increasingly useful arrow in their quiver. “Journalists who fight this stuff,” she says, “are missing an opportunity to up their game.”
Not only does Amy tweet...she started the first live interactive newscast with her viewers on WYCW in Greenville. She ustreams from behind the scenes and is constantly committed to sending INSTANT news to her social media friends. It is really a hobby and a passion for her to do this...no one is forcing her to do this, paying her money to do this, it is not a ploy to increase her popularity. She really cares about people who live in our area. I don't think she is paid by anyone to do this...she is just a great human being!
Rhita Nance - 7/3/2010 11:51:02 PM EDT
There are about 20-30 TV Meteorologists that could have been on that list. Amy is by far the best but some of us weather folks have used Twitter in severe weather situations as our go to forum for pictures, video and for getting important info to the public. I've seen some amazing tweeting in severe events that probably saved lives.
Brad Panovich - 7/1/2010 12:13:41 AM EDT
Well, I think you need to check the Seattle Market, @LilyJang @BillWixey and @jennihogan would all be right behind @TVAmy, Also who uses Twitter EFFECTIVELY - Then @MarthaSugalski, @wayngeGarciaKPTV and @ShaunaParsons should be included!
Sean Pifher - 6/28/2010 8:32:31 PM EDT
Thats our AMY WOOD she is second to none. I think Amy tweets or blogs or posts in her sleep. She takes a vacation but you still see her all the time posting something about anything all the time. GOD BLESS you AMY we are glad we have you in our area.
ROBIN PRUITT - 6/28/2010 1:22:39 PM EDT
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