Leveson Inquiry dominates journalists' Twitter conversations

The Leveson Inquiry dominated journalists' conversations in the Twittersphere over the past twelve months, according to the latest Portland NewsTweet Index.

Leveson: Inquiry dominating Twittersphere
Leveson: Inquiry dominating Twittersphere
The Newstweet Index, which analyses the content, impact and quantity of tweets generated by UK journalists, shows that the phone hacking scandal was the subject of one in five of journalists’ tweets between July 2011 and June 2012.

Topics including ‘Murdoch’, ‘Hacking’ and ‘NOTW’ dominated this year’s Twitter discussion as Lord Leveson launched his inquiry into media standards and press ethics.

Despite prominence across wider media channels, the Eurozone implosion and the Syrian civil war ranked only 15th and 18th respectively.

David Cameron was the most talked about politician in the UK, generating four times as many tweets as Ed Miliband. Boris Johnson attracted almost twice as much attention as Nick Clegg, but almost a quarter less than Ed Miliband.

The BBC held its position as the UK’s most active news outlet on Twitter since it overtook The Guardian in March 2012. BBC journalists recorded a 17 per cent increase in their Twitter presence during the year. Meanwhile, Financial Times journalists increased Twitter activity 69 per cent since April 2011 becoming the second most active outlet, overtaking Sky News, The Telegraph and The Independent.

Mark Flanagan, digital partner at Portland, said: ‘The micro-blogging site breaks open discussions that would previously have been held behind closed doors. Despite this new degree of transparency, it remains to be seen whether the openness of Twitter will translate into a greater level of trust towards the press among the wider public’

Paul Waugh, editor of Politics Home, was named the UK’s most influential journalist on Twitter for the third time this year. Waugh’s tweet comparing pictures of Boris Johnson to orang-utans received an enormous 775 retweets.

Waugh commented: ‘With every passing month, Twitter is becoming the leading source of rolling news for many people, particularly the young, and I'm delighted I'm playing a small part in that. As the Olympics showed, perhaps one of Twitter's most attractive qualities is that it likes 'good news' as much as 'bad news'. Maybe there's a lesson there for the media as a whole.’

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