The power of Twitter in business journalism
Lizzie O’Leary, a Washington-based correspondent for Bloomberg Television, spoke to the Atlantic and talked about how important Twitter has become in relaying a story.
O’Leary said, “The oil spill was actually the first time I came to understand the power of Twitter and started using it personally to get reporting tips. You’d see something pop up about oil coming ashore on Grand Terre or Grand Isle and you could get over there. Otherwise you’d be calling the sheriff’s department, who might not have wanted to tell you where the oil was. When I started covering the oil spill I didn’t know anything about petroleum engineering, and a hydraulic engineer started following me and an oil engineer from Texas started sending me information. They turned into real sources and helped me read through the data that I got my hands on.
“On Twitter, Heidi Moore is great on the business side. For national security stuff, Marc Ambinder is ahead of the game. Rachel Sklar, who is a friend of mine, is a one-woman media industry and tech news source. There’s also a group of Hill journalists who I follow and play with: Olivier Knox, Jake Tapper,Brian Beutler. I also follow Anna Holmes fairly religiously. I have real-life friendships and working relationships that sprouted from digital ones, like Mac McClelland from Mother Jones. We met because we were both covering the oil spill together, and she’s done stuff in Haiti, Uganda, the Congo. She’s taken Twitter reporting to new forms–little microbursts of storytelling. I follow a ton of politicians because they often make announcements that way; they tend to scoop themselves a lot. And I follow a lot of comedians: Neal Brennan, Liana Maeby, Tyler Coates, Aasif Mandvi, who was my date to the White House Correspondents Dinner.”
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