Tip Sheet

Twitter for Journalists
By Deborah Potter
Identify yourself

  • Be honest and transparent.
  • Be clear about who you are and what interests you.
  • Let your personality come through (not your opinions).

Stay up to speed

  • Follow beat-related groups for updates.
  • Follow news organizations for breaking news tips.

Report the news

  • Tweet updates on stories you're covering.
  • Live Tweet breaking news.
  • Search for Tweets about breaking news to find potential contacts.

Connect with your audience

  • Ask followers to help you find contacts or sources.
  • Keep followers up to date on what you're working on.
  • Respond to @replies and DMs (direct messages).

Get story ideas

  • Follow local Tweeters to learn what's “hot.”
  • Scan or filter Twitter streams for topics of interest.
  • Encourage followers to send tips, suggested questions, and so on.

Promote your work

  • Tease stories in progress on Twitter to raise interest.
  • Share links to completed stories to drive traffic.


  • Combine Twitter with other social media platforms like Facebook to expand reach.
  • Use Twitter to interact with other journalists.


  • Fake Twitter accounts can be deceiving.
  • Don't get involved in Twit-arguments.
  • Remember: It's one to many. Everyone can hear you.