In a rush to get this post out, I buried it in another article, Email Old News to Gen C.
It reappears now because it needed to be republished in its own right as a review of Twitter usage in Australian media and politics.
In Australia, very few news organisations use Twitter. As full disclosure, before I continue, I work at The Courier Mail, a News Limited paper.
Fairfax masthead sites
- Sydney Morning Herald – none, although there is a user account for an SMH columnist
https://twitter.com/samanthabrett – last and only update May 2007
- The Age – http://twitter.com/theage – last update May 2007
- Brisbane Times – none
- http://twitter.com/abcnewsbrisbane – regularly updated through day
- http://twitter.com/abcnews – regularly updated through day
- http://twitter.com/abcrn – ABC Radio National – deleted since December
- http://twitter.com/abctv – an example of a squatter. Two updates, one of which is “can’t believe this one wasn’t taken”.
News Limited masthead sites
- The Australian – https://twitter.com/theaustralian – never updated
- The Daily Telegraph – https://twitter.com/dailytelegraph – never updated
- The Herald Sun – http://twitter.com/heraldsun – never updated
- AdelaideNow – https://twitter.com/adelaidenow – never updated
- PerthNow – https://twitter.com/perthnow – never updated
- The Mercury – https://twitter.com/themercury – never updated
- NT News – none
- The Courier Mail – 20 Twitter accounts (as at January 31, 2008) updated whenever new content available on site
UPDATE: link to search for “cmail” Twitter accounts is broken after Twitter site redesigns. This URL will now reach the 20 Courier Mail cmail Twitter accounts: http://twitter.com/who_to_follow/search/cmail.
I am assuming the unused Twitter accounts above belong to these publications, but it’s entirely possible someone could simply be ‘squatting’ on the Twitter user names.
I set up Twitter accounts for all of The Courier Mail’s news sections in early October last year, making our newspaper one of the only two news outlets in Australia using Twitter (that I have found), and definitely one of the largest media contributors to Twitter by number of content categories, but not necessarily volume of content.
The Courier Mail’s current crop of 20 Twitter user accounts are providing free SMS/IM updates on topics ranging from sports, to business, to breaking news, all with tinyurl links to the original story content. I’m now trying to find time to play around with a Facebook page for The Courier Mail, although I rarely have any spare hours at home to spend doing that.
During the process of setting up these Twitter accounts, I did a search to see if other Australian news outlets were already using Twitter.
Of News Limited mastheads, apart from The Courier Mail, none of the other existing News Ltd Twitter users have posted.
Of Fairfax mastheads, only The Age has a single feed, last updated in May 2007.
The ABC has two feeds – one of which I follow to receive local news alerts on my mobile phone.
A search for “news” in Twitter yields a large number of results. Here are just a few (listed as their Twitter user name) that may be of interest – financialtimes, npr news, cbcnews, wired, ITN_NEWS, BBC, SkyNewsBusiness, indianews, SkyNews, and CNETNews.
In the UK, the BBC and Sky have a larger selection of Twitter updates that can be followed.
The 2007 federal election was approaching when I was working on the Courier Mail Twitter accounts so, having already written a story about politics and social networking, I had a look at what political parties had on Twitter.
At the time the results were:
Three updates in total, all on August 2, 2007, that are worth mentioning.
The Greens have established a twitter and are testing it.
04:11 PM August 02, 2007
Do you receive my Greens twitter?
04:26 PM August 02, 2007
Hrrrmmm, if I was 14 I’d know exactly what would happen
06:39 PM August 02, 2007
In 2008, however, the Greens seem to have got their act together with a Twitter page feeding from the Greens Blog website.
I also didn’t find this during the election last year , but https://twitter.com/kevinrudd is another spoof Twitter account.
The possibilities of Twitter as a quick and easy mass distribution method would be well utilised by politicians.