How to use Twitter for journalism.

Twitter. Love it or hate it, Twitter can be used as an excellent tool for blogging, freelancing, journalism, etc. I was talking to a classmate recently, about how to use it; at times the platform seems kind of polarising to me. That conversation inspired this post-how to use Twitter for journalism. (Not the best title for grammar I know.)

Assuming you’ve set up your account, and know the basics, these are my “tips”:

Decide your “Just causes.”

”Just causes” is a chapter title from My Paperchase; I think it’s a value that you can take with you wherever you go. For example, I care about Thalidomide survivors, Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder, press abuses/intrusions.. I follow accounts relevant to these facets.

Schedule content.

If you’re a blogger, it’s worthwhile scheduling tweets. After all, it promotes your content.. However, don’t schedule every single tweet; it could lead to being shadow banned.

Engage with people.

(And not in a creepy way.) But If people are asking opinion, using polls, it’s good to engage with them; it makes you more “visible”.

Be apolitical.

The Internet doesn’t forget, and it doesn’t always forgive. In terms of journalism, it’s probably good to stay apolitical on Twitter-unless, of course, you write about politics. It’s good to show opinions, generally speaking; however, if it’s something political, or something largely cultural, it may be a good idea to be neutral. (If you’re working and writing a story, it could stop you being signed a story. Say you tweet an opinion about an MP, and you’re assigned to interview them; you maybe can’t do that now.)

Understand Fake accounts and what count as good news sources.

Please understand fake accounts, bots, etc; it makes more sense if you do. And be balanced in your news sources; try not to go for websites that may be reporting false stories. (So, balance = left wing publication + right wing paper, in a simplistic way.) )

Use relevant hashtags.

If you’re a blogger, use Blogger retweet accounts. (Not sure what they are? See this post.) In terms of SEO, Use locations relevant to the story; or you could use a relevant word to the link. If you want to see what hashtags to use on Twitter if you’re a blogger, you’ll like this post.

Note: only use #journorequest for genuine requests for case studies. It’s not designed for anything else; it’s unfair on other journalists using it otherwise.

Follow every opportunity you see.

If you see a journalist saying they’re open to being asked questions, why not email them? If they want to give advice, ask them. If you see a chance to network, use it.

Use the mute button.

You can mute people and particular conversations. Use it wisely. If you’re continually being bombarded by particular accounts, mute them; if a conversation keeps going, mute it.

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