Journalists react with questions and interest to Twitter’s new related headline feature

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As we’ve seen in our fast-paced news world, misconceptions can spread quickly. Journalists’ original, somewhat harsh, reaction to Twitter’s new ‘related headlines’ were not all fully understanding the feature. Our previous post included some journalists’ remarks, which were updated once they learned what the feature really showed, which is related headlines in permalinks only. 

Controversy was stirred in the beginning. Some noteworthy responses included Caleb Garling's tweet saying that the this new feature is “so media company tone deaf that I almost believe Twitter wants to end embedded tweets.” 

And others, like Jay Rosen, originally agreed with this sentiment. Tweeting out, “Raise your hand if this will make it less likely that you will embed tweets in your posts and articles.” After Rosen was notified of the true placement of the feature, he changed his mind, noting, “The related stuff won’t show up on YOUR site if you embed, only on Twitter. Sorry: over-reacted.”

Megan McCarthy originally predicted that, “Publications will quickly stop embedding tweets and start using screenshots/links instead.” After learning about the actual placement of the related headlines, she softened her stance, asking, “In the post, it’s unclear that these links won’t show up on the sites that embed them. Can you assure that they never will?”

Kurt Gessler also had questions about the new feature, like, “Anyone test the algorithm behind them? Just raw or weighted RTs?” 

Ron Nurwisah had positive feedback, noting, “Boon for news outlets, adds context.” And Nick Dean seemed skeptical but positive about the new feature, tweeting, “could be good for news orgs- though a bit buried right now.”

Here’s how the related headlines section will appear on Twitter:

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It seemed like the new feature may not be what we originally thought, just needed clarification. What do you think about the new feature on Twitter? Are you outraged or intrigued? Maybe neither?

(Image: Twitter dictionary via Shutterstock)

 

-BVB

Journalists’ social media duty: An interview with Mediabistro’s Jason Boog

As a journalist in today’s world, to see your story trending on Twitter or Facebook is a big deal. People are sharing what you’ve written and your take on the story. 

Last week, Jason Boog of Mediabistro wrote a story on the Zimmerman juror who decided to write a book on the trial, and then dropped the plan. Not surprisingly, the story took off. It even trended on Muck Rack’s home page, meaning verified journalists were sharing it with their Twitter followers too. 

Muck Rack emailed back and forth with Jason about his viral story and the ways that journalism can proliferate across multiple channels. Here’s what he had to say about the topic. 

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Photo credit:  Coy Gutierrez

Muck Rack: How often have you been a journalist? What do you like to cover?

Jason Boog: I’ve been working as a journalist since 2004, the year I finished New York University’s graduate journalism program. Since then I’ve covered a variety of beats, ranging from immigration stories to legal reporting to my current beat as the publishing editor at Mediabistro.

MR: How long have you been familiar with Muck Rack?

JB: I discovered the site in 2011. I was writing a post about online tools for writers, and author Jill Morris had recommended Muck Rack. Your site has always been a great way to explore the range of reporting and opinions about a big story.

MR: What was your first reaction to knowing you’d been one of the top articles featured on Muck Rack?

JB: It was a real honor to see journalists I admire discussing and sharing my story. But it was also an overwhelming day. I knew when I wrote about Juror B37 signing with a literary agent it would be a controversial story, but it became a very emotional topic online. We were flooded with comments and the story kept evolving well into the night.

MR: What do you think is key to writing an article with a widespread response/readership?

JB: You need a strong team. I am part of a network of blogs covering all corners of the media. Without the support of my colleagues at Mediabistro, that story never would have reached so many readers. In particular, TVNewser, FishbowlNY and the Mediabistro Twitter feed all helped me share the story.

You also need to be flexible. I kept updating our story over the course of the day, sorting through an avalanche of opinions and new information. Our editorial director Chris Ariens helped me cope with the news and comments as the story evolved.

 

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Jason’s Muck Rack Profile

MR: What is a steadfast rule you live by as a journalist?

JB: Chase something new every day. I have been covering the publishing beat full-time since 2009, but every day I discover something I never knew existed. The joy of discovery keeps me inspired.

MR: How do you use Twitter and other social media platforms to interact with your readers?

JB: I edit the GalleyCat and AppNewser blogs for Mediabistro. I launched Twitter accounts for both those sites, and our readership grew as these platforms matured. I post all day long on both Twitter feeds, trying to blend our stories with reporting from trusted news sources. I use Facebook once a day to talk to our readers about a story and we have a Tumblr blog that helps share more lighthearted visual content.

MR: Do you think social media has helped or hurt, (or both/neither) the news industry?

JB: It has both helped and hurt the news industry. These new tools really helped GalleyCat grow and connected me with thousands of new readers. That’s my favorite thing about social media, being able to interact with readers on Twitter and Facebook every day.

At the same time, these tools are dangerous. Within an hour of publishing my story about Juror B37 finding a literary agent, key facts were already distorted on Twitter. All day, I tried to fight this misinformation by putting important points in bold and updating as the story evolved. Later that night, I had to write a stream personal messages to readers circulating rumors that GalleyCat was a publishing company set to publish a book by Juror B37.

Journalists have a duty to monitor (and react to) distortion in social networks, but that’s hard to do when a story spreads so quickly on Twitter on Facebook.

Ultimately, the literary agent and Juror B37 decided not to pursue a book deal. I wrote about that news, added an update (in bold) to the original story and circulated the new information as much as I could the next day. But a couple days later, you can still see people retweeting about this book deal that never existed.

We need to respect the power of these mind-boggling tools, and these experiences can help us become better journalists. I learned a lot this week, and I think I’ll be more prepared the next time a big story strikes.

-BVB

An inside look at WGBH’s Innovation Hub

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Ever wanted to know what Boston’s innovators are thinking? You can find out by tuning in to WGBH’s Innovation Hub, a radio show featuring thoughtful insights and ideas, hosted by WGBH’s Kara Miller. 

Miller meets with various researchers, scholars, and thinkers to discuss talking points from health and fitness to Internet dating every Saturday at 7 a.m. and Sunday at 10 p.m. But, next week (7/23) Muck Rack will be moving the conversation offline for a Boston-based MuckedUp event with the Innovation Hub and Crimson Hexagon. 

And, ever wondered if good guys really do finish first? Before our time spent mixing and mingling in Beantown, Kara will be sitting down at 10 a.m. on Saturday with Adam Grant, the highest-rated professor at Wharton to discuss his work on the topic. His research even led the New York Times to ask: Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? 

Keep an eye out for Kara’s show this weekend and for what WGBH’s Innovation Hub is working on in the future. You’ll even be be able to tune into it on Public Radio International’s satellite channel by the end of July! 

And don’t forget, Muck Rack is also doing a MuckedUp event with Kara and the Innovation Hub with Crimson Hexagon next week. Be sure to check it out if you can!

-BVB & RS

#HowtoPitchaJournalist with Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick

 

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“Don’t worry, even if you’ve never pitched a journalist it’s worth coming.”

Muck Rack will be hosting a class next Thursday night as a part of our #HowToPitchAJournalist segment. This one will feature Ryan Broderick from BuzzFeed, who is in charge of gif making, and was bestowed with the honor of best #gifmaker at this year’s Shorty Awards.

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The focus will be on tips for pitching to journalists— whether you’re a public relations professional or you just want to know more about the field— this class will be worth attending. The session will be led by Muck Rack’s own Natan Edelsberg who also writes for Lost Remote. Past #HowtoPitchaJournalist sessions have included speakers like Niketa Patel, director of content at Rebelmouse, and Alex Fitzpatrick, who writes about politics for Mashable.

Find out what you’re doing wrong when pitching and how to improve your tactics from journalists themselves.

The event is free for Muck Rack Pro users and begins at 7:00 pm.

Find the event listing here.

-BVB

The top 10 most followed journalists on Muck Rack

Image via prguitarman With 2012 the year that news organizations really got social, we also saw rise in the number of Muck Rackers on our site. Who can forget the 10,000 journalists Greg took to ONA

Since this was a year of learning, we take a lesson from BuzzFeed and put our dear tweeters in a list. Though it debuted in Sree Sreenivasan’s CNET piece (the most Twittery journalists of them all), we’ve decided to spend a little time on their accounts. Ahead, the top 10 most-followed journalists on Muck Rack…and a bit about how each of them uses Twitter.

10. David Pogue - The New York Times tech writer, who ceremoniously lost his phone this year, usually tweets from the road and can be trusted for reviews on all things tech (including his own reviews).

9. Dr. Sanjay Gupta - Tweeting to us from “30,000 feet up in the air,” we can rely on the good doctor for an expert take on all medical news - including Hilary Clinton’s blood clot

8. David Gregory - The NBC regular usually fills his weekends hosting “Meet the Press.” But he recently got himself into a bit of hot water by holding up ammunition on air. Whatever will happen next? You’ll have to follow this Redskins fan to find out. 

7. Chris Hardwick - The Wired contributor and self-appointed “nerdist” tweets just about everything, including where to eat in Portland and links to "Dr. Who" screenings

6. George Stephanopoulos - Yet another anchor on our roundup, the former Clinton cabinet member usually retweets what his show’s account (@ThisWeekABC) puts out. If you’re interested in previewing show lineups or getting show recaps, you may as well head there.

5. Bill Simmons - The Grantland EIC tweets a lot about sports, naturally, sometimes about the History Channel and most recently wondered why “Kim and Kanye are gonna make awesome parents!” wasn’t trending?

4. Larry King - The man in suspenders may have retired, but he isn’t really going anywhere. With 2,325,149 followers, the king of late night is still going strong at his new online home #LarryKingNow, where he interviews everyone from Jeff Probst to Shaun White and even Larry Flint.

3. Rachel Maddow - Host of her own self-titled show, it’s fair to expect mostly political and media-related tweets from this MSNBC lady. Every once in a while, an inside scoop on her show creeps in too.

2. Piers Morgan -The man hails from across the pond, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking over air time on televisions stateside - first as a judge on “America’s Got Talent” and now as the host of his own CNN hour-long. With a recent petition to kick him out of the country (and a counter to keep him here), Morgan took to Twitter to announce that he’d be “deporting himself for the week.”

1. Anderson Cooper - With 3,496,502 followers, of course another CNN anchor is our most followed journalist on Muck Rack. AC travels the world looking for stories that give a human element to breaking news, often getting in harm’s way himself. Make sure to follow the host today especially, as he gets ready to host the New Year’s Eve countdown with bff Kathy Griffin.

Now, if you’re all…

Image via mylifeasashitshow

we understand. It’s likely none of us will have Anderson or Larry’s numbers. Just remember to make a Muck Rack profile so we can feature you next year.

Happy 2013, Muck Rackers!

-dp 

Featured journalist: Simone Foxman

Today’s featured journalist is Simone Foxman, financial journalist and mini-economist for Quartz news. She was formerly at Business Insider.

Foxman’s portfolio includes “GET READY: This Is What Happens If Greece Exits The Euro,” “This Is What It Means When People Talk About ‘Sterilized’ QE,” and “LIBOR EXPERT: The Fed Has Destroyed LIBOR.”

You can find her tweeting about FedEx’s speedy shipping, women having it all and being excited to read @DCaseGP’s tweets.

Do you want to be featured? Remember to set up your Muck Rack profile and portfolio and let us know.

-DP