Twitter’s role in news, both global and local, has again increased as NBC Local Media debuted “The 20,” which are batches of local Twitter tastemakers in the O&Os’ markets.
The strategy is up and running in New York and Washington. Here’s what it looks like on NBCNewYork.com; among the 20, I see a prominent sportswriter (Will Leitch), a popular transit blogger not to mention Yankees blogger) (Benjamin Kabak) and a pretty well known Reuters business blogger (Felix Salmon).
The Twitter-ati 20 are not paid by NBC.
NBC Local announced “The 20″ gameplan back in November. I just dug up the story I did on it then, and just noticed that 76 people have Tweeted the original story, while another 10 “Like” it via Facebook. Social media stories are catnip to social media participants.
Here’s what NBC Local Integrated Media Prez Greg Scholl said at the time:
“In the age of social media, ‘voice’ is democratizing, with fresh new perspectives about important issues facing local communities,” said Scholl. “‘The 20′ will connect these relevant new voices with NBC’s local broadcast and online audiences to facilitate discussion and debate, and help to shape local media coverage.”
After all, “people increasingly get their news and information from each other,” says Scholl. “I think it’s an exciting and innovative idea.”
Members of “the 20″ also appear on air. Here’s a taped segment that just aired on NBC New York about a proposed city council initiative featuring Azi Paybarah and Anthony De Rosa (who both happen to work in media). “We can Skype in two or more of our 20 to have a facilitated dialogue around a topic,” Sholl told Lost Remote. “They’ll be a reoccurring part of local broadcasts.”
NBC Local Media’s GMs met in San Diego for skull sessions with its new owners this week. The group will roll out The 20 in all its markets, says Lost Remote.
Scholl hopes the Twitter gameplan will drive TV viewing. LR continues:
Beyond bringing in fresh voices and content, “The 20″ also serves as a social media marketing venue for NBC Local brands, both online and on TV. “Maybe we can bring people back into television,” Scholl says. “I think it all works together.” We’ve seen several back-and-forth Twitter exchanges that helps both NBC Local’s social presence and well as the social cache of “The 20.”