Twitter masterclass for journalists

On the first day of the Perugia International Journalism festival, Twitter experts from Italy and France ran a masterclass for journalists. At the masterclass the head of News&Politics at Twitter France Jérome Tomasini and the media partnerships manager at Twitter Italy Livia Iacolare explained how media professionals can use Twitter for search of newsworthy content and promotion of their own work.

According to the experts, at the moment Twitter has over 288 millions active users; more than 500 million loged-out users consume content directly from Twitter; about 500 million tweets are being posted every day.

Journalists should keep in mind that 80% of users consume Twitter on mobile phones, says Jérome Tomasini: “People will see yor tweet on a small screen, make sure it is short and catchy”.

At the masterclass participants had a chance to familiarize with various features that journalists can use in order to collect newsworthy content on Twitter.

First of all, media professionals should follow their important sources, experts and colleagues, advises Jérome Tomasini: “Maybe other journalists are more advanced in the topic, so you can learn from them”.

The expert points out that Twitter also allows to create lists of users one is interested in: “This way you don’t have to follow all of them. If you choose to make this list private, no one will know it exists”.

TweetDeck is one of the features that allows to monitor content on Twitter using various filters and search options. “Most of the users use only basic search, – says media partnerships manager at Twitter Italy Livia Iacolare. – But you can use various search filters, combine as many search options as you want. You can also set up alerts with the chosen characteristics”.

The experts also demonstrated what Twitter feature can be used to identify tweets posted within a certain city or even a street, or to track a tweet and see who was the first person to post certain information.

During the masterclass participants have learned practical tips that help journalists not only search for the content on Twitter, but also build their own reputation as a valuable information source. Livia Iacolare suggests that journalists can use Twitter to attract attention to their work, for example, promote their news pieces, create teasers, ask for feedback or outsource for information.

“Twitter is like a microphone that you use to make your voice heard”, says Jérome Tomasini.

At the workshop participants had a chance to test Periscope – a new live-video app of Twitter, which allows to live stream video from a phone while interacting with other users.


Adilya Zaripova