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Tweeting the news. Breaking news . Examples: 2007 Mexico earthquake 1 st reported on Twitter. Hudson River plane crash . Fort Hood shooting. Hurricane Irene. Twitter use. More than 175 million users . Up from 58 million in 2009. Adding 370,000 a day!. Twitter as a news source.

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Tweeting the news

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Tweeting the news

Tweeting the news

Breaking news

Breaking news

  • Examples: 2007 Mexico earthquake 1st reported on Twitter.

  • Hudson River plane crash.

  • Fort Hood shooting.

  • Hurricane Irene

Twitter use

Twitter use

  • More than 175 million users.

  • Up from 58 million in 2009.

  • Adding 370,000 a day!

Twitter as a news source

Twitter as a news source

  • News travels fast.

  • Osama bin Laden’s death: 12.4 million tweets an hour.

  • Sense of immediacy.

How journalists use it

How journalists use it

  • Engage audiences, create community.

  • Connect with people, sources.

  • Develop personal brands.

  • Link to their work.

  • Crowd source content.

  • Get questions answered.

  • Provide real time news.

More ways to use twitter

More ways to use Twitter

  • Interviews – “Man on street”

  • Newspapers – Use Twitter to link to stories

  • NYTimes on Twitter

  • Curation with Storify – Hurricane Irene

  • Humor/news – Top 17 D.C. quake tweets

Understand twitter terms

Understand Twitter terms

  • DM – Direct Message (Private message sent to a specific person)

  • RT – Retweet (Repost someone else’s message)

  • Automatic retweets cannot modify the message

  • @ - Reply to someone (followed by their Twitter name)

  • # - Hashtag Precedes a keyword and makes it easier to search for particular topics

Using hashtags

Using hashtags

  • Automatically groups tweets identified with that hashtag, making topic search easy.

  • Great way to share information at conferences, events and during breaking news.

  • Find out if an event has an official hashtag; if not, you can create one.

  • You can save searches, to make it easy to review.

Some hashtag examples

Some hashtag examples

  • Twitterfall

What to live tweet

What to live tweet

  • Twitter works well for breaking news and for the blow-by-blow account of an event.

    • government meetings

    • public forums

    • press conferences

    • speeches

    • sporting events

Live tweeting tips

Live tweeting tips

  • Consider your live twitter stream a story – it needs a beginning, middle and end.

  • The first tweet should announce to your followers that you’ll be live tweeting. Describe briefly what you’ll be covering.

Live tweeting tips1

Live tweeting tips

Live tweeting tips2

Live tweeting tips

  • Once the event begins, be sure you have an opening tweet that sets the stage – location, what is happening, what is expected, etc.

  • Cover the event on Twitter just as you would a story.

    • You wouldn’t write a story that includes everything that was said at a meeting or event.

    • Be discerning – use your reporting instincts to decide what is relevant and pertinent. You only want to report the highlights.

Live tweeting tips3

Live tweeting tips

  • Each tweet should cover one point at a time.

  • Think subjects, verbs (like headlines).

  • Drop articles.

  • Punctuate for clarity.

  • Strive to make each an understandable, self-contained message.

  • Use URL shorteners – tinyurl, or

Live tweeting tips4

Live tweeting tips

  • Use good grammar.

  • Be useful – provide information or insight.

  • Be judicious about your links.

Live tweeting tips5

Live tweeting tips

  • Always be professional.

  • Avoid using exclamation points, emoticons, jargon and slang (including LOL)

  • Don’t over-abbreviate – if message too long consider using a follow-up tweet to clarify

  • Try to be consistent and concise in how you use attribution.

Tweeting the news

Don’t be afraid to use color in tweets to help readers feel like they are there. This one could have indicated the person was angry and shouted.

Live tweeting tips6

Live tweeting tips

  • Visuals – either photos or videos are always good to include if they contribute to the story.

Does this one contribute

Does this one contribute?

Does this one

Does this one?

Live tweeting tips7

Live tweeting tips

  • End with a wrap up tweet – indicate to your followers that the event is over.

  • Then tweet to tell readers to look for an upcoming web story on the event.

Encourage the conversation

Encourage the conversation

  • Let your followers know ahead of time that you’ll be live tweeting.

  • Also send tweets to interested hashtags know ahead of time that you’ll be live tweeting – search for those that might not be obvious by topic.

    • #LNK

    • #UNL

    • #OMA

    • #immigration

Encourage the conversation1

Encourage the conversation

  • But be courteous when using others hashtags and don’t flood them with tweets.

  • They consider it “spam” when you overtweet on their “line” or “frequency.”

Encourage the conversation2

Encourage the conversation

Good idea several times during the course of your live feed to repeat a summary tweet that tells new followers who havejoined what you are covering live.

In that tweet, you could also include other hashtags that might be interested.

Encourage the conversation3

Encourage the conversation

  • Try to watch for responses or direct messages to get reader comments and questions.

  • Retweet or respond when it’s appropriate.

Using hashtags1

Using hashtags

  • When selecting a hashtag for a live event, try to keep it short and relevant.

  • But be sure to explain it well in any promotional tweets and when you begin the live tweet.

  • And be sure to use it in every single tweet.

Using hashtags2

Using hashtags

What happens when no hashtags used

What happens when no hashtags used

Nuts and bolts

Nuts and bolts

  • Correcting tweets: 

    • If notice a typo, delete and retweet.

    • If a factual error, correct with new tweet and delete the original.

  • If using a phone, make sure your battery is fully charged; take charger in case.

  • Arrive early to scope out best location – locate power supply.

  • Be sure to check out Wi-Fi access beforehand.

Do your prep work

Do your prep work

  • Find out before the event as much as you can.

  • Interview people, if necessary, to get background info.

  • If it’s a speech, can you get an advanced digital copy?

Be cautious

Be Cautious

  • Source of breaking news but be cautious.

Ethics still apply

Ethics still apply

  • Verify before you Tweet.

  • Admit what you don’t know.

  • Credit what you’re using.

  • Remember it’s public.

  • Tweets can be libelous.

See what journalists are doing

See what journalists are doing

  • Muck Rack is compiled of real-time Twitter activity by journalists. See what journalists are reading, following and talking about. The site is searchable by news organization, tweets, links and photos.

Study live tweeting examples

Study live tweeting examples

  • WaPo live tweeter

  • CoJMC immigration forum

  • @TBD

    • D.C. death

  • The Lede on Twitter

  • Storify

  • @BreakingNews



  • Mashable’s guide

  • Twitter for Journalists

  • 20 Tips forJournalists

  • 10,000 Words

    Twitter etiquette

  • 10 commandments

    Twitter for newsrooms

  • #TfN

  • Login