Maybe the best piece of advice I can give for using Twitter to cover breaking news is to study how @statesman covered last week’s terrorist attack in Austin, Texas.
I almost didn’t blog about this. The attack occurred last Thursday as I was winding down work at Gazette Communications and preparing to move out to Arlington, Va., to start my new job. I took quick note on Twitter and might have let it pass. But it was a great example of community engagement and that’s my new job, so I decided I had to take the time to analyze the performance of @statesman Social Media Editor Robert Quigley in engaging his community through that breaking story. I’m writing about this several days after the fact because this is the best example I have seen of a media organization showing how Twitter can be a powerful tool for coverage of a breaking story.
My previous posts on the value of Twitter in breaking news have shown how citizens using Twitter provided a much better, faster account of breaking stories than professional media organizations did. I am pleased to show such an excellent, if belated, example of a professional news organization showing the potential for engaging through Twitter in a breaking story. (I should note that University of Texas student Douglas Luippold beat me to this.)
After I read through Quigley’s coverage, I emailed him some questions. I’ll intersperse his answers with my observations, presented as a strategy for a news organization using Twitter to cover breaking news: (more…)