2013: A year in Twitter journalism
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.
The most followed journalists on Twitter
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.
- Anderson Cooper: 4,613,769
- Piers Morgan: 3,889,204
- Rachel Maddow: 2,793,462
- Adam Schefter: 2,604,054
- Larry King: 2,463,758
- Bill Simmons: 2,395,816
- Chris Hardwick: 2,093,199
- Erin Andrews: 2,041,755
- George Stephanopoulos: 1,913,970
- Dr. Sanjay Gupta: 1,756,331
Media outlets with the most tweeting journalists
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.
- New York Times: 502
- Reuters: 496
- Associated Press: 482
- Wall Street Journal: 418
- Bloomberg News: 392
- LA Times : 339
- Guardian: 293
- BBC: 256
- CNN: 244
- Financial Times: 184
Media outlets with the most collective followers
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.
- CNN: 18,219,432
- ESPN: 10,920,743
- New York Times: 10,359,464
- ABC News: 8,126,836
- NBC News: 6,275,320
- MSNBC: 5,585,028
- Guardian: 5,583,053
- Fox News: 4,977,543
- BBC: 3,771,413
- Yahoo! News: 3,600,181
Most followed journalists who created their Twitter account in 2013
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.
- Melissa Lee: 19,104 (5/8/2013)
- Anna Breslaw: 12,366 (1/14/2013)
- Lionel Barber: 11,960 (1/7/2013)
- Howie Carr: 9,853 (4/24/2013)
- Thomas Fessy : 3,304 (3/14/2013)
- Vanessa K. Bush: 3,049 (3/24/2013)
- Julie Durda: 2,796 (4/4/2013)
- Michael Kitchen: 2,552 (3/27/2013)
- Russ Parsons: 2,523 (2/12/2013)
- Siobhan Gorman: 2,020 (7/9/2013)
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!