Before I started working in the news business, I mostly used Twitter to see what people were up to and keep up with the trends. Now, Twitter is my primary source for gathering and sharing news – mostly breaking news. Luckily for me, I was able to get my Twitter account verified through my work which allowed me to gain a following of other people in the news business or who enjoy my stories and want to read my articles regularly.

I use Twitter professionally by tweeting bits of breaking news in real time. I usually tease an upcoming article with more details to keep readers interested and in-the-know. Then, I’ll write a brief or full length article and share it on twitter by writing an interesting tweet and link to the article.

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I also use Twitter in my profession to keep up with trending news by keeping up with a Twitter list that a former co-worker of mine created. The list follows local and national reporters, news organizations, government agencies, politicians, etc. Having a resource like a Twitter list allows me to keep up with breaking and trending news and to read articles from other outlets.

Twitter also allows me to find sources and conduct interviews. If I was looking to do a story on this week’s Electric Daisy Carnival, all I would have to do is search Twitter for #EDCLV and I have access to attendees who I can contact via direct message for comments, photos, videos, etc.

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A tool that many journalists, including myself, use to track information on Twitter is TweetDeck. This site allows the user to “organize and build custom timelines, keep track of lists, searches, activity and more—all in one interface,” the site says. TweetDeck is constantly updated and easily customizable to show you exactly what you want to see.

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Twitter is no longer just a way to tell your friends what you had for breakfast or to keep up on what your celebrity crush is doing. Twitter is also a network of professionals and one of the leading social media sites for breaking news. Its uses and abilities are limitless.

 

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