Which National News People Dominate Twitter?

This morning’s column (below) from Jim Warren at Poynter has the Kings and Queens of Newsroom Twitter – by the numbers!

No matter what most any reporter or editor tells you, a coin in their realm is tweets. They can constitute a self-aggrandizing echo chamber, for sure, but one where personal brands are enhanced and bragging rights secured.

Audiences can be mistaken for esteem but they are an undeniable marker in a metrics-driven media universe. Just ask, well, President Donald Trump, for one. But don’t tell him that Barack Obama is more popular than him when it comes to social media.

So one might inspect Twitter’s disclosure of the top tweeted news outlets and the most tweeted journalist or commentator at each outlet. Trump likely will and, in the process, see that his favorite journalist is right at the top:

@FoxNews — @SeanHannity
@CNN — @JakeTapper
@NYTimes — @MaggieNYT
@MSNBC — @JoyAnnReid
@WashingtonPost — @Fahrenthold
@TheHill — @JoeConchaTV
@NBCNews — @BraddJaffy
@ABC — @GStephanopoulos
@POLITICO — @ddiamond
@AP — @ZekeJMiller

Many of those are no great surprise, especially given the inherently high profile of the outlet and commentator or host. With Jake Tapper, one has a very adroit early adopter of social media twinning with the impressive reach and social media savvy of his employer, CNN. With Bradd Jaffyof NBC News, a writer-producer, you have somebody you probably don’t really know but who’s a well-practiced tweeter.

Of the print cadre, one might take special note of The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who has built a huge following as a result of dogged labor covering Trump. And, too, The Washington Post’s David Farhenthold parlays inventive reporting with the potency of an employer on the cutting edge of technology.

But don’t forget The Hill’s Joe Concha. Who? That’s a name you may not be aware of but he symbolizes The Hill’s substantial social media savvy and strategy in targeting of consumers. The brain behind their head-turning success is Neetzan Zimmerman, who came to The Hill from the now-defunct Gawker. 

As Editor & Publisher put it, “Zimmerman’s uncanny ability to pluck out content he knew would be popular with readers allowed him to garner over 30 million page views a month, as much as five times more page views than his next highest colleague. That led the Wall Street Journal to dub him ‘the most popular blogger working on the web today’ and New York Magazine called him a ‘one-man viral treasure chest.'”

And one piece of advice he’s got for local newspapers, even if small, “is to get away from wire stories and have someone on staff aggregate national content. In resource-starved newsrooms, it’s easy to simply drop in a wire story when national news breaks, but it’s certainly not helping your brand stand out in the sea of content swimming around on the internet.” Whatever, here’s a revealing piece on him with the latest Twitter numbers only underscoring his success at an unlikely locale, an insider paper on Capitol Hill. 

Posted by Tim Morrissey