Why Journalists love to Tweet

 A recent list compiled by reputation experts PeerIndex, claims to identify which journalists have built the highest authority and impact on Twitter. Topping the list are two Guardian media-tech journalists, Charles Arthur and Jemima Kiss just ahead of their boss, Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief at The Guardian. Hilary Alexander, the Telegraph's top fashion journalist, ranks fifth.

Azeem Azhar, founder of PeerIndex describes how the index ranks people‘s impact online: “The index looks at people's impact on the social web, including channels like Twitter and Facebook. We track how other people engage with them and how interesting they find content. This is processed using algorithm's similar to Google's PageRank, to produce a score of between 1 and 100. A score above 40 is top 10 per cent, a score above 90 is top 0.1 per cent.”.

Discussing the results of looking at journalists on Twitter, Azhar says: “We found UK journalists are very active in their use of Twitter and many of them have started to establish a substantial based of engaged followers who, we are sure, will be a source of tips, comments as well as page views.”

Top 12 journalists on Twitter ranked by PeerIndex:

Rank Name PeerIndex
1 Charles Arthur 81
2 Jemima Kiss 79
3 Kevin Anderson 75
4 Alan Rusbridger 73
4 Hilary Alexander 73
6 Ben Goldacre 72
7 Krishnan Guru-Murthy 71
8 Jack Schofield 70
9 Emma Barnett 68
9 Paul Bradshaw 68
9 Roger Highfield 68









This list highlights the value of Twitter to journalists, both to increase their profile and for gathering information. Beth Caroll, head of social media at PR agency Threepipe, says that there are “endless benefits” for a journalist in mastering Twitter. It may be that the big names in journalism attract lots of followers without making any effort, but to make the most out of Twitter they need to engage with their audience. Carroll lists how Twitter aids journalists: “They can use it for building their own personal profile, getting access to breaking news straight from those at the heart of the action, getting feedback on articles and monitoring consumer opinion”.

Soundbites - How journalists use Twitter

Emma Hall, editor of Advertising Age:
“I am a slave to Twitter. Great place to get ideas, plus as someone who works from home it's a fine substitute for the water cooler.”

Paul Stallard, director of agency Berkeley PR: “During one of my meet-the-media interviews with Theunis Bates, a regular contributor to TIME, Fast Company and AOL News (in the US), he touched on how Twitter has changed the way journalists are now expected to work ‘It’s blurred the lines between PR and journalism. I now have to promote my own articles via Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.’”

Louise Jack, deputy editor of Pitch:
“I learn more from Twitter these days than I do from anywhere else.”

Cathy Hayward, editor of FM World magazine:
"It's a great way to report from a conference; and when I'm writing up a more coherent report later, helps remind me what I found most important/interesting at the time. Also, a great way to promote really good articles to a wider audience than just your readership."


PeerIndex looked at a list of 900 British journalists compiled by independent online communications consultant Steve Davies, to identify which journalists have built the highest authority and impact on Twitter. PeerIndex identifies how well people engage with their audience on specific topics using a range of methods. It looks at how well people engage their audience, and how relevant their audience is, follower counts are not so important. Hilary Alexander, for example, has 110,000 followers while Alan Rusbridger has 24,000 and Emma Barnett (of the Daily Telegraph) has 5,700. What does matter is one’s ability to share things and engage with the audience in a meaningful way. For more information go to http://www.peerindex.net/.

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