Tag Archives: twitter

Tips for finding great interview subjects on social media 

Photo by Pixabay

Editors often want people with lived experience in stories. The question is, where to find them? I spoke with four freelance reporters about their experience using social media to find “real” people to interview. You can find their advice in this tip sheet under the Pitching, Reporting & Writing tab on the Freelance Center. Here is a preview of what they had to say.

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The wonderful new trend of ‘peer review’ threads on Twitter

Twitter screenshotI’ve used Twitter since 2008, but never has it been more vital to my work and news diet than throughout 2020, and continuing into this year. The discussions by physicians, infectious disease experts and epidemiologists about SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and the pandemic, in general, has been invaluable for a journalist covering these topics. It’s hard to pick one favorite thing about the evolution of Twitter discourse since the pandemic has begun, but definitely high on the list is the trend of peer review threads on the site.

Peer review is the process by which journal papers are reviewed for quality, clarity, usefulness and robustness by other researchers in the field before publication. Preprints are papers that have not yet gone through peer review. But anyone who covers medical research knows that simply having been peer-reviewed is no guarantee that a paper really is high-quality or deserved to be published. (Spend some time at Retraction Watch for all the evidence you need.) Continue reading

Tip sheet offers advice on finding real patient voices on Twitter, even on short deadlines

One of our older, incredibly helpful tip sheets at the Medical Studies Core Topic is Liz Szabo’s overview of how to use social media to find real people for articles. In that tip sheet, Szabo lays out a great overarching strategy on setting yourself up to find the sources you need for the topics you typically cover and how to monitor conversations not only for sources but also for story ideas.

That comprehensive approach, however, is aimed more at setting yourself up for a longer story or for a regular beat, and “starting early” is a key aspect of it. What if you’ve just been assigned a story and have less than a week to find patients or other “real people’s voices” — especially if it’s not an area you often cover? Continue reading

Freelancers learn to maximize social media skills

Why do some journalists have thousands of followers and others barely a handful? Is it better to tweet, ‘gram or Facebook? What about Snapchat? Should you have separate personal and professional accounts? What’s the best way to deal with trolls and negativity? Attendees at Health Journalism 2018 learned how to up their social media game from those who do it well — and how to avoid potential problems — at the “Freelance: Flex your social media muscle” session on April 14.

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Pull sexy quotes, say thank you and share, share, share #ahcj14

Photo by Katie McCrimmonLiz Szabo meets with journalists at Health Journalism 2014.

Overheard at “The Art of the Tweet:” Pull out a sexy quote to write a good tweet like: “#Ambien replaces #roofies as new date rape drug.”

“I’d read that,” said Liz Szabo, medical writer for USA Today (@LizSzabo) and an early adopter who shared her favorite tips for using Twitter during a Thursday afternoon session at Health Journalism 2014 in Denver (#ahcj14). Continue reading