If there's one thing we have learned about the rapid growth of Twitter, it's that anyone, anywhere can commit acts of journalism.
Whether they are involved in a situation (like a plane crash, attending a presidential inauguration, etc...) or simply a witness. Twitter makes the news travel fast (see: Welcome To The Sixty Second News Cycle - Death To The 24 Hour News Cycle). So, how do the mainstream media best use Twitter to report on the news?
Most of the major newspapers, magazines and even TV news programs have some sort of Twitter feed. The majority of them are semi-impersonal. They use Twitter as a broadcasting system to let their consumers know about breaking headlines or who will be featured in an upcoming report. The majority of them are not associated to an individual, they are branded with the same name as the news channel and are probably being updated by any number of staff members.
In a world of direct messages, replies, retweets and group conversation, the broadcasting nature of these tweets can either add a welcome break from the cacophony of content or simply seem out of place in the river of personal tweets, depending on your appetite.
It turns out that many journalists and media folks working for major traditional media outlets are telling a much more human story that integrates components of their jobs, what's going on behind the scenes and what they're thinking about. The trick is in finding out who these people are and who they work for. Thankfully, someone has done the heavy lifting for you.
You need to check out Muck Rack.
Muck Rack aggregates the Twitter feeds of individual journalists from most of the major news outlets. What makes it most compelling is that it's not just a river of news based on latest tweets (although that is one the perspectives you get), you can also view the flow by news source (meaning, you can view/follow all of the tweets from all of the journalists who are tweeting and work for the Financial Times). As the Muck Rack website says, you can get a glimpse into what the newspapers and magazines of tomorrow will look like today. Along with that, there is also a pretty interesting list of trending topics amongst all of the journalists.
If aggregation is the key to successful news and media in the digital channel, Muck Rack is leading the charge in terms of journalism and Twitter.
It doesn't end there, if you're not interested in following what the journalists and media pundits have to say, the same company has set up aggregated Twitter feeds for celebrities, musicians, venture capitalists and even pets.
Muck Rack is on to something. With so many people trying Twitter out and randomly adding followers to bump up their own personal numbers, it can be a bit daunting and overwhelming. It's nice to see these first strikes at strong aggregation based on areas of interest while exploiting a powerful niche.
What do you think?