Sportswriters effectively using Twitter

Posted by Austin Cannon

Like most of you, I use Twitter as my main source of breaking news. I especially like it because I can get my absolutely vital Kansas City sports news even when I’m here in Des Moines.

For my sports fix, I follow a couple sportswriters from The Kansas City Star, Bob Dutton  (@Royals_Report) and Sam Mellinger (@mellinger).

Dutton is the beat writer for my hometown Kansas City Royals (no jokes, please) and Mellinger is a columnist who specializes in the Royals, Chiefs, Mizzou, KU, K-State and anything else related to KC sports. 

Anyways, Twitter.

Both use it to tweet links to what they wrote. It’s another way to reach their audience when print is supposedly dying. Standard journalist behavior.

They use it to tweet instant sports news.

That’s expected. I want to focus on how they both use Twitter to interact with those of us who don’t have a seat in the press box.

Every so often, Dutton will promote a live-chat where he answers questions about everything Royals.

Mellinger has ‘Twitter Tuesday.” Every Monday, he asks for questions over Twitter. On Tuesday, he publishes the questions and answers on his blog, “Don’t Kill the Mellinger.” I always give it a read.

They don’t always rely on live-chats and blogs either. They often just reply via tweet.

This proves that newspaper journalism is more than just writing everyday. There’s much more interaction with readers. KC sports fans have unlimited access to the guys closest to their favorite teams, assuming they don’t get blocked. It’s not only sportswriters either, all major journalists use Twitter nowadays. It’s another audience, it’s more freedom and it’s the best way to get breaking news out the quickest. It’s way better than simply having one article to read in the paper every morning.

And with that, I leave you with some trademark Bob Dutton sass.

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One response to “Sportswriters effectively using Twitter

  1. Austin, I agree that Twitter is a fantastic outlet for sports coverage, especially when newspapers don’t have the breaking news appeal that sports fans demand (though I’d argue that news can be “too” breaking, leading to factual inaccuracies). I’m hooked to my @Packers stream for score updates, truth be told. And sports aside, you convey a good point that Twitter grants journalists an outlet to closely connect with readers. Twitter profiles give a more personal, and accessible, face to journalists… something that a stack of newspaper pages simply can’t do as effectively. -Kayli

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