A short guide to some of the industry’s most essential tweeters
UPDATE: Reaction to this story, published Monday, prompted us to go back for a few more media insiders to even the field. Read our addendum here.
* * * *
Twitter recently announced that it passed a milestone metric: 50 million tweets a day.
That, of course, includes media insiders, who have gravitated to the medium, not only to promote their work, but to communicate with their readers, rivals and others. If you’re employed in the media industry, following them is essential, giving you quick insights into the topics of the day and, in many cases, tomorrow.
As with any list, this one is by no means exhaustive, and there are many, many essential media Tweeters that were omitted. (And it doesn't include TheWrap's band of merry tweeters, which you can find here.)
Think of it as starting point, if you’re in media and new to Twitter. If you’re not new, there might be a few here you aren’t following, but certainly should.
Reporter, New York Times
Why you should follow: With a steady stream of breaking news, crowdsourcing requests and – yes – self-promotion, Stelter is one of the best examples of a journalist leveraging Twitter anywhere – new media or old.
Recent sample tweet: “Breaking on the NYT home page: ‘Abuse Case, Paterson Aide and Questions of Influence.’"
If you do, be prepared for: Weather-related tweets. A lot of them.
Contributing editor, Mediaite
Why you should follow: Sklar has become an in-demand media critic, and her tweets are timely, tough when needed and always part of the proverbial “conversation.”
Recent sample tweet: “I actually find this Olbermann thing tiresome. He knows he egregiously misrepresented Dan's relationship – ongoing! – with MSNBC + NBC.”
If you do, be prepared for: Canada-related tweets. A lot of them.
CEO, Hammock Publishing
Why you should follow: Hammock, aside from running a custom publishing operation in Nashville, is a serial adopter of new media tools (as evidenced by his one-letter Twitter handle) and has plenty of worthwhile opinions on them, and others.
Recent sample tweet: “Frankly, I think Tony Kornheiser should have been suspended long ago. Just for being Tony Kornheiser.”
If you do, be prepared for: Nashville weather reports and country music star sightings. Frequently.
Why you should follow: A former New York Observer reporter who decamped to cover media for Politico, Calderone serves up a steady stream of D.C. media news, both his and others.
Recent sample tweet: “Sally Quinn tells me she has 'absolutely no regrets' over controversial column.”
If you do, be prepared for: Tweets about D.C. media figures you've never heard of, which will, in turn, take up memory that could be used for baseball statistics.
TV columnist, Time
Why you should follow: Unlike some staffers at big media companies, Poniewozik isn’t afraid to tweet his mind – albeit about television, mainly.
Recent sample tweet: “Ah, for the innocent days when our governor was just out nailing hookers.”
If you do, be prepared for: Tweets that only make sense if you live/have lived in Brooklyn.
Media reporter, New York Observer
Why you should follow: Koblin’s weekly column is a must-read, and so are his tweets, particularly those about the inner-workings of his frequent targets, like Condé Nast.
Recent sample tweet: “The March edition of Details (their 10th anniversary issue) clocks in at 202 pages. An upgrade from the usual 115 or so.”
If you do, be prepared for: During the NFL season: Jets propaganda.
Founder, Gawker Media
Why you should follow: Like his internal memos, the Gawker Media Godfather’s tweets are closely-watched, if not as widely-distributed. But they’ll give you a hint about what the industry’s agenda is on any given day.
Recent sample tweet: “The corruption of Hollywood: Variety killed a bad review after getting a $400,000 ad deal.”
If you do, be prepared for: Slights against competitors, and links to the U.K. tabloids Denton loves.
TV editor, Mediaite
Why you should follow: Mediaite’s tireless blogger and tweeter covers live events better than most, as evidenced by his stream of updates on NBC’s Late Night fiasco.
Recent sample tweet: “New NBC Sports press release: ‘Olympics a Huge Cultural Event- 34% Delayed Household Chores – Including Doing Laundry’ Uh, ok?”
If you do, be prepared for: Syracuse hoops coverage.
Senior editor, Mediaite
Why you should follow: Of Mediaite's numerous prolific Tweeters, MacNicol picks her spots — and restraint is a good quality to have in the spit-firing Twitter Age.
Recent sample tweet: "Now this from WaPo: Massa under investigation for allegedly groping MULTIPLE male staffers. Think @GlennBeck will call tonight off?"
If you do, be prepared for: A seemingly endless, borderline unhealthy fascination with Glenn Beck.
Ana Marie Cox
Political blogger, GQ
Why you should follow: Liberal blogger, Wonkette, Time magazine, Radar and Air America veteran and Rachel Maddow regular is about as sharp-witted as they come, which makes Twitter perhaps the best platform to absorb her running media commentary.
Recent sample tweet: “WHY IS JENNA BUSH ON MY TV.”
If you do, be prepared for: Links to nauseatingly cute pictures of her dogs.
Blogger, The Corsair
Why you should follow: A skilled observer of New York media, Mwangaguhunga frequently dishes 140-character-scoops of his own.
Recent sample tweet: “Maybe ABC News and NBC News can go halfsies on a combined broadcast digital journalism program w/ the New York Film Academy.”
If you do, be prepared for: Fashion industry missives, as Mwangaguhunga also blogs for Kenneth Cole.
Media columnist, Poynter.org
Why you should follow: Romenesko’s Poynter column, along with Mediabistro’s newsfeed, is the media industry’s go-to digest. Romenesko, though, serves up quicker Twitter updates.
Recent sample tweet: “Grand Forks Herald tightens security after learning employees had nothing to do with gun found in break room.”
If you do, be prepared for: More newspaper industry news than is probably necessary.
Why you should follow: Overseeing a site that is named for one of the media industry’s biggest obstacles – how to get paid for online content — Ali has his finger on the pulse of digital deals, and isn’t afraid to tweet about them before fully reporting out.
Recent sample tweet: “How long before social media consultants start offering companies services to manage their Chatroulette presence?”
If you do, be prepared for: Tweets about New York oddities, as Ali recently relocated from L.A.
Media blogger, Los Angeles Times
Why you should follow: His exhaustive coverage of the television industry industry is a must-read, not only in L.A. but everywhere.
Recent sample tweet: “Conan tweeted again! Quick, tear up the front page!”
If you do, be prepared for: Exhaustive coverage of the Comcast-NBCU antitrust hearings. Too exhaustive.
Senior White House correspondent, ABC
Why you should follow: As ABC News senior White House correspondent, Tapper is consistently – even gleefully – involved in the scrum that is covering the White House. It’s fascinating to follow.
Recent sample tweet: “Gibbs just went off on [Senator] Bunning blocking unemployment extension … More to come.”
If you do, be prepared for: Depending on which Twitter platform you use, you could be subject to Tapper’s tête-à-tête with followers who frequently accuse him of being partisan. That, and Snooki retweets.
Why you should follow: Gavin, a Washington new media insider, offers a dedicated Twitter stream covering all aspects of the D.C. media game.
Recent sample tweet: “Obama's big mistake: Not having Kim Yu-Na moderate the health care summit. She defines peace, love and harmony.”
If you do, be prepared for: Some “inside baseball” about Washington that I’m not even sure Gavin fully understands.
Media reporter, Advertising Age
Why you should follow: Unlike some of his media brethren, Ives only tweets when he has something important to contribute. When he does, it’s usually crucial information – his or others.
Recent sample tweet: “Two advertisers in WSJ NYC section tee up NYT's new fight, but one wine shop won't bite — its owner dislikes Murdoch.”
If you do, be prepared for: Longer lapses between tweets than you’d like.
The Media is Dying
Why you should follow: One of the first widely-followed Twitter feeds for the media industry, @themediaisdying – created by Paul Armstrong, an ex-MySpace employee based in the U.K. — quickly gained acclaim for posting rumors of layoffs and closings before anyone else. And with more than 22,000 followers, you probably should follow just to keep track of what everyone else is.
Recent sample tweet: “BREAKING: Oregonian lays off 37 employees; newsroom hit hardest.”
If you do, be prepared for: Occasional tweets about the death of some publication you never heard of which has no bearing on your business whatsoever.
Television media reporter, Los Angeles Times
Why you should follow: See Flint, Joe. Also, she’s based in New York, so she tweets while Joe is sleeping.
Recent sample tweet: “Sarah Palin is appearing on ‘The Tonight Show’ when Leno returns next week. She'll be on Tues, same night as Shaun White.”
If you do, be prepared for: Brooklynisms.
Blogger, All Things Digital
Why you should follow: Having covered tech media since 1997, Kafka — “Media Memo” blogger for All Things Digital — is super-connected in the tech media world, and his tweets, especially those that parse earnings calls live, are essential.
Recent sample tweet: “Twitter's Ad Plan: Copy Google”
If you do, be prepared for: More-than-occasional inside jokes about tech news embargoes.
Why you should follow: Abrams, former MSNBC president and founder of a small but growing blog portfolio, is a dependable tweeter, and one of the few “old media” figures to fully embrace the social media revolution that’s happening all around them.
Recent sample tweet: “Tiger, you want everyone to know that your wife did not assault you. Fair enough. Then what DID happen?”
If you do, be prepared for: Retweets of Twitter feeds you probably already follow.
Why you should follow: Arrington’s TechCrunch is as close to a Silicon Valley bible as there is, and his tweets — along with co-editor Erick Schonfeld's — are equally insightful.
Recent sample tweet: "I am getting the feeling that ChatRoulette is entirely comprised of naked guys and tech reporters."
If you do, be prepared for: Retweets. A lot of them.
Managing editor, TMZ
Why you should follow: You don’t want to follow him; you just sorta have to.
Recent sample tweet: “The coroners office released the list of drugs found in Brittany Murphy: http://bit.ly/aFVTpT”
If you do, be prepared for: Links to celebrity death certificates. A lot of them.
Media columnist, New York Times
Why you should follow: The media equation columnist and former Carpetbagger has become a prolific tweeter, offering followers a mix of media opinions and timely retweets.
Recent sample tweet: “Oh my word, I got the Oscar invite for @christinajeurling's annual Oscar party in Stockholm and it is a 3-D extravaganza.”
If you do, be prepared for: Media-related tweets peppered with thoughts about fatherhood, skiing, and New Jersey.
Columnist, Daily Finance
Why you should follow: Like Ives, Bercovici — AOL’s Daily Finance and New York Observer contributor — doesn’t tweet unless it’s necessary, which, given the medium’s increasing noise, is refreshing.
Recent sample tweet: “A fun hypothetical: Zuckerman sells Murdoch the Daily News; Murdoch backs Zuckerman for Senate.”
If you do, be prepared for: Green Bay Packers tweets during football season.