A powerful example of a smart Twitter search

This week the NYT’s Daniel Victor wrote a hugely helpful piece on Medium, showing how Twitter can be used as a extremely valuable tool in your reporting.

Victor used this NYT story, in which Hasidic Jewish men refused to sit next to women who weren’t their wives on commercial airplanes, as an example. The reporter of the story, Michael Paulson, reached out to Victor who was quickly able to find 13 possible sources for the story through Twitter searches.

Reading through the five sources that are eventually used is a great exercise in thinking like a social journalist. But Victor’s ultimate point is one about effective Twitter searches, and how using the keyword “me” in addition to the obvious keywords (in this case, “Jew,” “plane,” “Hasidic”), zooms in on the personal stories that the reporter was looking for.

Imagine what your perfect source would tweet, or what you yourself would tweet in that situation, and search for the words that would probably be in it,” writes Victor. 

Try it yourself — and let me know how this technique works for you! I’m on Twitter at @torystarr3.

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