From Edward Snowden's big reveal to the Boston bombings, social media has become an established part of how news spreads and increasingly how it is sourced. In Twitter's S-1 filing prior to its IPO, the company listed a risk factor that "influential users, such as world leaders, government officials, celebrities, athletes, journalists, sports teams, media outlets and brands or certain age demographics conclude that an alternative product or service is more relevant" (emphasis added). We've seen no sign of that happening.
Muck Rack's community of journalists has grown to nearly 20,000 spread over the world. This year, the Muck Rack team analyzed these journalists, their organizations and how some of the newest members of the social journalism community have embraced their Twitter handles and engaged audiences worldwide.
This list probably won't surprise you, except that we couldn't fit George Stephanopoulos's full name onto our graph. The best way to get millions of followers for a journalist is to get some serious airtime.
This year the New York Times took the top spot for the most journalists on Twitter (it was second last year). Reuters grew their number of tweeting journalists the most by more than doubling.
We added up all of the followers of all of the journalists at each media outlet (excluding the following of the media outlets' brand accounts like @CNN). CNN held the top spot from last year. ESPN impressively moved up from 6th place last year to 2nd place this year.
When it comes to having a large following, it's no secret that it helps to have been on Twitter for a while. So we'd like to give a special shout out to the journalists who've joined Twitter this year and have quickly built an audience.
If you're not yet on Muck Rack, create your journalist portfolio today.
For additional social media glory, be sure to enter the Shorty Awards (which we also run) categories Best News Twitter Account and Best Use of Social Media for News. The category for Best Journalist on Social Media will open in early January. Tim Pool won that destinction at the last Shortys and has since become a producer at Vice.
Happy New Year!