The ‘Newstweet Index’ also pinpoints the top 50 media tweeters, with Sky News digital news producer Neal Mann taking the top spot.
Portland plans to produce the index on a quarterly basis. For the first index, which covers July, August and September, Portland worked with Tweetminster to assess more than 330,000 current affairs tweets from journalists, newspapers and TV news channels.
The Guardian emerged as the top media outlet with more than 100,000 tweets in the three-month period.
Analysis of the topics covered by each outlet shows that The Guardian rode to the top of the chart through its prominent coverage of the hacking scandal, along with numerous tweets mentioning the police.
The BBC – which came second with 78,000 tweets – gave more prominence to the war in Libya than to phone hacking or the police in its tweets. Making up the top five most prolific media outlets were Sky News (47,000), The Telegraph (41,000) and The Independent (27,000).
Individual media tweeters were ranked according the number of times they were mentioned or their tweets were ‘retweeted’.
Mann topped the list, with the Media Guardian Twitter feed in second place and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger in third.
BBC presenter Andrew Neil was ranked fourth, ahead of the Guardian News Twitter feed in fifth.
Journalists linked to The Guardian and The BBC dominated the top ten, but Channel 4 News economics editor Faisal Islam took 11th place.
The highest placed FT journalist was education correspondent Chris Cook in 18th while the highest placed Independent journalist was foreign editor Archie Bland in 20th.
For the Telegraph, the best performing journalist was blogs editor Damian Thompson in 25th.
For The Times, political correspondent Michael Savage claimed the highest ranking, coming in at 35th.
No journalists from The Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Express or Daily Star featured in the top 50 media tweeters.
Commenting on the new index, Portland MD Tim Allan said: ‘The media is an ever-changing beast, and Twitter is fundamentally changing the way that stories break, spread and develop. Twitter has allowed viewers and readers to absorb news through a much more direct relationship with journalists, and many figures who are normally off-camera have become prominent.
‘We have developed this Index in order to give the first proper insight into who the movers and shakers are among media tweeters, what they are discussing and how they interact.’
Alberto Nardelli, co-founder and CEO of Tweetminster, said: ‘The index will allow us to track and study the way in which the media are using Twitter, and experiment with new ways of analysing trends within media.
‘We have seen massive uptake among journalists, and just as in politics Twitter is changing how people work and how they’re viewed. This is a window into the development of a totally new aspect of the media, which should be of interest to technology watchers, journalists and PRs alike.’
THE TOP TEN MEDIA TWEETERS
- Neal Mann, digital news editor, Sky News / @fieldproducer
- MediaGuardian.co.uk / @mediaguardian
- Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief, The Guardian / @arusbridger
- Andrew Neil, presenter, This Week and Daily Politics, BBC / @afneil
- Guardian News Feed / @guardiannews
- Ben Goldacre, author of the Bad Science column, The Guardian / @bengoldacre
- BBC Radio 5 Live / @bbc5live
- Charles Arthur / @charlesarthur
- Paul Mason, economics editor, Newsnight, BBC / @paulmasonnews
- Grace Dent, columnist, The Guardian / @gracedent