The news business is not what it used to be - with digital media, it's much closer to the people who read and comment on the news these days than (almost) to the action. In fact, when it comes to Twitter, it is often the people (formerly known as audience) who find themselves in the middle of the action and who do the reporting.
I've seen a couple of lists of journalist and media companies with presence on Twitter. This one here is a Wiki and this one compiles journalists in the UK. BeatBlogging.org is also calling for all people practicing journalism on Twitter to comment to compile a new list.
Media and new media publishing is a topic of great interest to me. Partly because I work both in advertising and public relations, which are becoming more entangled with each other online. Think Google ads and search - search engine optimization and search engine marketing in the same tool. Somewhere in there is also a thought-provoking idea of Google as digital media company.
Partly also because many of the professionals I most admire are editors and journalists. That's the reason why I wanted to invite your contribution here today to select the most influential media people on Twitter. I could think of five - off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more so do add in the comments and we will vote for the next five.
Twitter Name: @johnabyrne
Media Person: John A. Byrne, editor-in-chief, BusinessWeek.com. I met John in 2003 when he was editor-in-chief of Fast Company magazine and had the opportunity to spend time with him at FC Real Time conference as well as the magazine in NYC. John is a good listener and learns fast. I'm not surprised that he'd become comfortable on Twitter so quickly. His stream is a good mix of reporting from events, personal interaction, and highlights from BusinessWeek.com. I published an interview with John here a few months ago.
Stats: follows 1,256 / 5,946 followers / 1,847 updates
The rest of the organization: There are many other journalists and editors from BusinessWeek.com on Twitter (you will find them on the wiki linked above). This is an organization that has really started participating in a distributed fashion stretching from blogs now onto a different, public platform. Update: here's the twittering gang from BusinessWeek.
One thing: the one differentiating characteristic of John's stream is pointing out the day's "most-read" story at BW.com.
Twitter Name: @TechCrunch
Stats: follows 557 / 54,427 followers / 6,595 updates
The rest of the organization: Erik Schonfeld, co-editor at Tech Crunch is also on Twitter.
One thing: TechCrunch breaks a lot of news on technology. Yesterday, for example, we were barely realizing that Google has a problem and the site already had 122 comments on a post about Google flagging the whole Internet as malware.
Twitter Name: @anamariecox
Media Person: Ana Marie Cox,is a Wonkette emerita, political junkie, self-hating journalist and occasional grown-up. That's how she describes herself on her personal blog. She used to blog at Time, and that is what caught my attention at first. Then I spent more time reading her work and was pulled in by her style.
Stats: follows 151 / 17,888 followers / 1,916 updates
The rest of the organization: Perhaps a news publication is looking into enrolling her help with their digital property.
One thing: Her Twitter style is very conversational.
Twitter Name: @marketingprofs
Media Person: Ann Handley, editor or head of content as she puts it, Marketing Profs, where she also wrangles a team of bloggers of which I am part. This reminds me I ought to write something for the DF soon, before I get booted out. I interviewed Ann for this site as well.
Stats: follows 14,230 / 14,075 followers / 7,147 updates
The rest of the organization: Marketing Profs is a fine online publication and I was lucky enough to meet some of the people who make it possible at the B2B Forum in Boston last June. I like the idea of making the content come alive with events.
One thing: In addition to the great sense of humor, Ann is a community builder. It is clear from her tweets that she enjoys highlighting the good work of others.
Twitter Name: @om
Media Person: Om Malik, founder and senior writer, GigaOm. Malik was a senior writer for Business 2.0 where he focused on broadband and its impact on our lives and prior to that senior writer at Red Herring where he focused on telecommunications. He was part of the founding team at Forbes.com. That's quite a bio. I smile at myself. The first time I linked to GigaOm, I had no idea of who he was. I was observing his reporting skills in a post I wrote about the Skype Outage. Then I wised up and concluded that his reporting was better than the WSJ.
Stats: follows 528/ 17,420 followers / 2,712 updates
The rest of the organization: The Network of sites provide one of the leading daily online news reads for the key influencers in the emerging technology market place. As you can see from the tweet here, the team members from GigaOm are on Twitter. Looking at the team bios, I cannot help but think that indeed new media publications is where many journalists may find continuity to their work.
One thing: Malik retweets and shares a lot with others on Twitter. He is someone I would enjoy meeting for sure.
The rest of the list is up to you.
Who are the other five (news) media people on Twitter? Who do you follow ? What is interesting and different about them? Put their names in the comments, describe the "one thing" that makes them interesting, and we will put them to the vote on this post later tomorrow.
We have some early suggestions: