Media convergence in action: Journalists (try) mastering the Twitterverse


That’s influence for you. After The Insight Exchange’s event Twitter’s Impact on Media & Journalism last week, the biggest front page article in The Australian’s media section today, titled Journos mastering the Twitterverse, opening with:

IT’S Tuesday and I’m at a forum on the topic “Twitter’s Impact on Media and Journalism”, busily taking down the speeches in shorthand. As I do, the business-suited woman sitting on my left is tweeting about me on her laptop.

“This is interesting,” she types. “I’m at #timj talk about Twitter and media/journalism. I’m tweeting and the journalist next to me has paper/pen :-)”

Paper and pen? Got me! I do use them. However, I also use Twitter, which is how I caught up with her comment once I was back in the office.

It’s a long article, accompanied by three other articles on Twitter in media. The thrust of the article is about how journalists are using Twitter. It mentions Dave Earley’s list of Australian journalists and news media people with Twitter accounts, and Anthony Dever’s list of Australian media organizations on Twitter.

Presumably from these lists they have compiled a list of prominent Australian journalists on Twitter:

Mia Freedman (@miafreedman) – Sun-Herald and – 6216 followers

Adam Spencer (@adambspencer) – ABC 702 breakfast presenter – 3999 followers

Melissa Doyle (@melissadoyle) – Sunrise co-host – 3777 followers

Joe Hildebrand (@joe_hildebrand) – Daily Telegraph blogger – 3215 followers

Tracy Grimshaw (@tracygrimshaw) – A Current Affair host – 2771 followers

Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) – Sydney Morning Herald columnist – 2609 followers

Leigh Sales (@LEIGHSALES) – Lateline anchor – 2609 followers

Paula Joye (@paulaJoye) – Madison editor – 1823 followers

Caroline Overington (overingtonc) – The Australian journalist – 1279 followers

Mark Colvin (@Colvinius) ABC Radio PM presenter – 1227 followers

First noteworthy feature is that these are pretty low follower numbers compared to prominent journalists in other countries. The second is that these are largely prominent TV personalities with very large audiences, so with strong existing media visibility.

Journalists are rightly keen to get onto Twitter. Media convergence is a real phenomenon, with bloggers and Twitterers taking attention from “real” journalists, and journalists trying to get in on the action. However a quite different mentality is required, which some journalists get, and others don’t. More on this in my piece on How Twitter impacts media and journalism: Five Fundamental Factors.

Very usefully, accompanying the article the newspaper also published Julie Posetti’s Top 20 takeaway tips for tweeting media.