Journalists are known for their love of Twitter. A quick show of hands at the ONA conference in Chicago this year showed that journalists use Twitter at much higher rates than that of the general population. And they love other journalists on Twitter: a recent study found that “journalists were more likely to interact through retweets and @mentions with other journalists than with public officials or other citizens.”
Whether it’s a cause or a symptom of this love fest, Twitter has some great resources for journalists, including a weekly meet-up hosted by #wjchat. Each Wednesday at 5 pm ET, 8 pm PT, journalists from around the globe gather to tweet about a relevant topic. Past chat themes (there have been 254) include everything from journalism education, diversity in the newsroom, working for non-profit news, and more.
I asked the #wjchat team for a little backstory on the origins of this helpful tweet-up. Robert Hernandez, an Assistant Professor at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, and a co-founder of #wjchat said the weekly chats are about to celebrate their fifth anniversary (you can see his original thoughts about starting the group from Feb 27, 2010 here). Hernandez added that like many great ideas, the success of #wjchat only continues because of the people involved, saying:
It’s run by a diverse set of amazing people who volunteer to run the weekly chats… it’s really a weekly miracle that started off with a smart ass tweet… and it has become an incredible, giving community.
I am blown away by our international participation and new faces that join us weekly. Lots of lurkers too!
This week on #wjchat, I got a chance to host a discussion on newsroom analytics, along with Parse.ly’s Director of Publisher Partnerships, John Levitt. If you missed it, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite tweets from the discussion and added in some annotations that didn’t fit in 140 characters last night.
Hope to see you at the next one!