This post was initially published on BostInnovation on August 16, 2011. To read the original post there, click here.
From print journalists to TV news reporters, disc jockeys to talk show hosts, almost everyone on the local media scene is using Twitter nowadays to forge deeper relationships with their readers, viewers and listeners. That’s not to say they’re not promoting their own work via this increasingly popular social media platform. But they’re also winning favor among their constituency for being surprisingly approachable and responsive, giving time and attention to as many of their followers as possible.
To say that this is a big change in how those in the business of mass communications interact with their fans would be an understatement. This is a monumental paradigm shift. The audience is now talking back – instantaneously and publicly – to the media in the form of not just idle chatter and gossip, but also rave reviews, constructive criticism and unique, unfiltered perspectives on life in and around Boston.
What followers are doing for their media tweeps is helping them to get the word out on everything from big breaking news stories to the latest weather forecasts, what’s happening in nightclubs and theaters to which newspaper and magazine articles are worth their undivided attention. They’re also providing real-time feedback and input, helping the media to gauge the interest level in their content and perhaps even make changes to it on the fly.
Besides some genuinely good, new friendships, what the audience is gaining is previously unheard of access to the manufacturers of media themselves, the opportunity to actually contribute to – and influence – the stories that are being put together for their benefit.
We’re talking about a win-win situation if ever there was one.
So just who on the local media scene is the most engaging on Twitter? You’ll have to follow them and see for yourself. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of 175 (and counting) Boston-area media accounts on Twitter, which you can find here. I’ve also listed 20 of those accounts below, including a short summary of who they are and what I’ve observed them “talking” about on Twitter.
@susantran – A reporter for WHDH-TV (7News) and a very active member of the Twitterverse, Susan doesn’t hesitate to engage with her followers in energetic, enthusiastic conversation.
@WBZNightside – You can listen to veteran TV journalist, Dan Rea, every weeknight from 8 PM-midnight on WBZ Newsradio 1030 AM. You can also follow him on Twitter.
@HeidiWatney – A Red Sox reporter for NESN, Heidi provides the scoop from the sidelines while the games are in progress, but she also answers a multitude of questions from a legion of followers (25,000+).
@TrackGals – Boston Herald gossip columnists Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa dish the dirt in 140 characters or less.
@Wesley_Morris – You can get to know this film critic for the Boston Globe better by following him on Twitter. Not only is he a great writer, but he has a great sense of humor, too.
@Jerry_Remy – He’s a former Red Sox second baseman and the current color commentator for the team’s broadcasts on NESN. RemDawg’s tweets include trivia questions, pictures and links to The Remy Report.
@cindyfitz25 – A meteorologist at Fox25 News, Cindy keeps more than 2,100 followers posted on the latest weather forecasts.
@BillyCosta – You’ve listened to him on Kiss108 FM and seen him on TV Diner. Now you can follow him on Twitter.
@BostonTweet – If there’s something fun happening in the Hub, chances are Tom O’Keefe is tweeting about it. Restaurants. Concerts. Theater. He’s got it all covered in 140 characters or less — and often a good TwitPic.
@PaulaEbbenWBZ – A WBZ-TV morning news co-anchor (with David Wade), Paula has an upbeat, friendly style on Twitter and shares a lot of news about Boston.
@ramirotorres – You can find Ramiro all over the radio and TV airwaves — and, yes, on Twitter, too — but he’s probably best known for co-hosting the popular Ramiro and Pebbles Morning Show on Jam’n 94.5.
@JoannaWeiss – This op-ed columnist for the Boston Globe and author of the book, “Milkshake,” shares her wit, wisdom and thoughts about motherhood, among other things.
@scottzolak – Candid, no-holds barred rants and raves from the former New England Patriots backup quarterback and the current co-host (with Andy Gresh) of the 10 AM-2 PM time slot (weekdays) at 98.5 The Sports Hub.
@kelleratlarge – Insight, wit, humor and expert commentary from the inimitable WBZ-TV and Radio political analyst, Jon Keller.
@joedwinell – Boston Herald Managing Editor for Web-print integration, Joe will keep you up-to-date on news as it’s happening in the city and suburbs.
@larryridleyon7 – Sports anchor for WHDH-TV (7News), Larry answers questions from his fans and exchanges Boston sports-related news and information with his followers.
@ScottKirsner – With over 10,000 followers, this Boston Globe columnist and blogger certainly wields influence on Twitter, where he tweets frequently about start-up businesses, technology, innovation and more.
@MicheleMcPhee – Updates and news from a veteran crime journalist, Boston Herald columnist, best-selling author and popular TV and radio commentator who recently joined WCVB-TV NewsCenter 5.
@HeyCallahan – Co-host of the Dennis & Callahan Show on the WEEI Sports Radio Network and Boston Herald columnist, Jerry on Twitter is like Jerry anywhere else: direct and to the point.
@lvanderpool – Multimedia reporter at the Boston Business Journal and WBZ-TV morning show contributor, Lisa posts news from a variety of sources, plus plenty of her own personal commentary, too.
What other accounts would you include in my list? Who among the hundreds of Boston-area media Twitteratti do you follow? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the conclusion of this post.
Note: To follow my list of Boston-area media accounts on Twitter, click here.Google+