A closer look at the Twitter top 100: Print journalists

This is the fourth in a series of posts looking at  Bryce Edwards and Geoffrey Miller’s top 100 tweeters to follow this election. There was much discussion afterwards about the make up of the list, and the lack of female or ethnic members on the list. I have been thinking about it a bit as well, and felt that it was worth taking a bit of a deeper look at some of the people on the list. I am going to run this as a series of posts. I plan to look at each of the categories that Bryce and Geoffry used in their column, apart from the ones for MPs. I am excluding MPs because they would be in a list simply for the fact of being MPs. I am also going to take a look at a selection of those mentioned on Stephanie Rodgor’s alternative top 60, plus an addition of my own.


I am going to use Twitonomy stats to look at each person on the list.


Order is as per NZ Herald article.


Toby Manhire. Columnist. NZ Herald.


Toby always has a quick comment for whatever is happening. Engages in a lot of discussions, and doesn’t retweet too much. Overall deserving of his place on the list.

Claire Trevett. Deputy political editor. NZ Herald.


Claire is not that active on Twitter. Though she hasn’t fallen into the trap that a lot of low activity accounts do and just retweeting stuff. The fact that she replies to tweets is a good sign. But again, one of those who is on the list because of her position outside of Twitter.

Andrea Vance. Political reporter. Fairfax.


Andrea is a well know reporter. She has a good balance between retweets, replies and original tweets. She is semi active, with around 10 tweets a day. She lets her personality show through a bit on Twitter. Not as much as Laura McQuillian or Jessica Williams. But more than some others.

Jane Clifton. Columnist. Listner.


Like Claire, Jane is not very active, but has managed to stay out of the trap that some fall into of just retweeting lots of stuff. 2 tweets a day though is not someone that I would put in the top 100 accounts to follow.

Derek Cheng. Political Reporter. NZ Herald.


Derek is another person I think is on the list just because of his job. 1.26 tweets a day is not going to set your Twitter feed alight.

Philip Matthews. Senior Journalist. The Press


I don’t follow Philip, but going from these stats a lot of his content is retweets, with a small amount of replies. Following him is going to give you a lot of retweeted content, but not a lot in the way of original content.

Hamish Rutherford.


Hamish has some interesting tweets every so often. He however isn’t very active. But he makes up for this by producing a lot of original content, and not just retweeting stuff.

John Drinnan. Media Writer. NZ Herald.


I only started following John recently, he is well worth a follow. Lots of interesting original, interesting content, with a lot of discussion. Well deserving of being on the list.

Vernon Small. Political Reporter. Fairfax


Vernon is another very low activity name on the list. I follow him and can’t really think of any stand out tweets from him. Once again another person on the list cause of their job.

Tracy Watkins.


84 tweets, 0.05 per day. Do I really need to say anything?


It seems that in the print journalist section there is a high number people , 6 out of 10, who average less than 5 tweets a day. Many of them are on the list cause of the positions they hold in the press gallery, or the wider media. It is another case of the format of the list, 10 groups of 10, forcing them to put a number of people on there who I don’t think would make it on to a straight top 100 list.