Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why Journalists Love Twitter

Ezra (this is one smart guy):

Facebook is clearly dominant—and getting more so. Pinterest—which no journalist I know spends even a second considering—is in second place, and it, too, is growing.

Twitter is driving less than a tenth of Facebook’s traffic—and it’s flattening out.

Yet journalists—and, quite often, the organizations that employ them—clearly prefer Twitter. They put enormous effort into building Twitter brands and coming up with Twitter strategies ...

The reason, I think, is that Twitter is simply more useful for our jobs. For better or worse, it’s where news breaks today. It’s also where a lot of real-time reporting happens. The bulk of Robert Costa’s shutdown reporting happened on Twitter. For weeks on end, he managed to dominate the top political story in the country in 140-character bursts. As a journalist, if you wanted to stay on top of much of the best reporting you simply have to be on Twitter.

The fact that so many journalists are on Twitter has made Twitter incredibly professionally valuable to journalists. Tweeting your articles ensures they’re seen—and discussed, and retweeted—within a community that includes not just your friends and peers, but the people who might hire you someday. (Costa, for instance, will be coming to the Washington Post in January!) That’s much less true on Facebook. It’s readers, not colleagues, who dominate Facebook.

RelatedTwitter: The Most Important Place in Washington, DC?