JTP Guide: Who to follow on Twitter for the best news leads
During my original session here in the Journalist Training Program (JTP) I found that grabbing news articles was extremely easy. Within ten minutes of waking up and flicking through Twitter, I could find 2 or 3 great stories to write about. Unfortunately, from what I gathered in Slack and the Forums, nobody else was as lucky.
Twitter can be one of two things: an epic source of information, or an epic waste of time. There are a ton of great people to follow like developers, game pages, other news sites... There is also a ton of horrible, time wasting people to follow such as meme accounts.
What it really comes down to is what you use Twitter for: business or personal. That being said, I used Twitter for personal reasons for years before beginning the JTP, and I didn't change a thing when I started the program. That's just the type of Twitter user I am I suppose.
So who do you want to follow for the best news leads? I choose to follow these accounts for my own personal entertainment and enlightenment, but you can take the premise and apply it to your own choice of games/devs/etc.
Fair warning: this article will contain a ton of Twitter handles. Luckily for you, I made a neat list on Twitter that you can find here.
Let's start with news for a specific game. For example, Assassin's Creed news.
Who should you follow on Twitter for the most breaking Assassin's Creed news?
- The game page - @AssassinsCreed
- Any variation on the game page (sometimes they post differently or sooner based on time zones) - @Assassins_UK
- The main development studio - @Ubisoft
- Lead Game Developers (if applicable - I don't follow any lead devs for Creed but, for an example: as far as Call of Duty goes, I follow @MichaelCondrey and @DavidVonderhaar)
- Systems the game will be available on - @PlayStation, @Xbox, etc
Now let's talk about news from other news sources.
Ever heard that old saying, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?" Time to take it literally. Jump on Twitter and follow all of the big gaming news guys, all of the little gaming news guys, that one random dude that had that great tip that one time, everyone.
Start with @IGN, @Polygon, @gamespot, and any others that you know of. Don't just stick with online gaming journalists. Go after TV talk shows and their hosts - @reviewsontherun, @epdailytv, @Victor_Lucas, @ScottCJones, etc. Don't stop there! Does the entertainment journalist at your local paper have a Twitter? Follow her!
Remember: following other news sources can be a great source of information, but you'll often come across other news articles. You can create your own articles by taking their info and combining it with other sources, but plagiarism isn't tolerated to... well... anyone really.
Don't forget to follow @GameSkinny!
Let's lighten the mood. Following merchandisers and product manufacturers.
Make sure you're following all of the places that sell video games and related content! You never know when you'll have to write about an awesome deal. Here is a taste of who I follow:
You might have noticed that the heading for this section said merchandisers AND product manufacturers. Well what's a product manufacturer and why should you care? I'm not talking about the guys that make the game cases! I'm talking about gaming goodies like headsets, capture cards, pro controllers and so on.
For a start, you can follow @ScufGaming, @turtlebeach, @ASTROGaming, @KontrolFreek, and @elgatogaming, but there are too many of these companies to count. Good luck catching them all, Pokemon fans.
The big 3 and other gaming expos.
I hope this one is pretty obvious. Where are the biggest, hugest, most amazing news stories broken each and every year? Gaming entertainment expos. Make sure you follow these guys and when that time of year rolls around you'll have non-stop writing powers. @E3 and @Official_PAX are a good start, but there are plenty more to choose from. Consider more out of the box expos as well such as @Comic_Con.
Sometimes, YouTubers are just in the know.
YouTubers are not to be overlooked (and I'm not just saying that because I am one). A lot of the time they will have strange breaking news or interesting theories that can form an idea.
I'm a big Call of Duty guy when it comes to YouTube (making my own guides, tips and tricks, and camo showcases on a daily basis), so most of my references are Call of Duty based. Again, take the premise and apply it to your own favorite gaming related YouTubers.
Despite my dislike of them, check out @Chaosxsilencer and @OMGitsAliA for good Call of Duty breaking news stories. My personal favorite YouTuber is @Drift0r, who I glean most of my inspiration from, myself. Of course, there are gaming news YouTube pages like @MachinimaETC, but you'll have to find most of them for yourself.
I hate to say it, but sometimes it's beneficial to throw your friends under the bus.
Follow each other, and any other friends that you know in the industry. Sometimes you can collaborate, sometimes you can find an idea off of someone else's, sometimes you'll notice someone's idea and jump on it faster than they can. All is fair in love and journalism.
That's about it, apart from a few outlying categories:
- Actors who star in video games.
- Support Twitters such as @ATVIAssist
- Cosplay Twitter accounts - believe it or not I've found many a good article through my sources (which I won't be giving away on account of they're too damn unique... and pretty NSFW sometimes).
- Movie info and review site Twitter pages can sometimes be great for video game news.
- Finally, follow big brand names like @starwars and @Marvel. They often tweet about upcoming entertainment of any medium - including video games.
I hope this article helped you to create a better Twitter experience. With any luck your feed no longer consists mostly of meme tweets like mine once did. When used properly, Twitter might be the best source of readily available information in today's society. Good luck article hunting!
Where do you find your news info? Let me know in the comment section!