By Miro Rodriguez
Image via Twitter Canada.
Now more than ever, people turn to Twitter to get quick updates about the world around them. They check the app during their commute to work, or while waiting for their latte—whenever they have a spare moment to feed their curiosity. Twitter has become crucial to a company’s branding and—for journalists—a chance to share news, opinions and create a forum for discussion.
Journalismdegree.org is the latest website to rank the many journalists on Twitter, with its list, “Best in #Journalism: 151 Twitters worth a follow.”The article lists the accounts of journalists, publications, schools and organizations that the website’s young owner believes are worth following. Of the many Twitter accounts listed as “follow-worthy” are such staples as TheNew York Times, Anderson Cooper, The New Yorker, Vice,the Poynter Institute, WikiLeaks, and theBBC. Despite the site’s low profile, it has been tweeted 556 times and liked on Facebook 422 times.
What’s surprising is that of the 151 Twitter accounts, not one is Canadian. The majority of the accounts are American, and unsurprisingly, many of them are based in New York City. A few belong to UK-based organizations, while others are personal accounts of German and Australian journalists—but no Canadians (Vice, which was born in Montreal, only kind of counts).
What does this say about the true North? Does Twitter stop at the 49th parallel?
There are plenty of Canadian Twitter accounts that offer similar, credible information and insight about journalism like its counterparts across the globe. But organizations like Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Canadian Association of Journalists were ignored, while household names such asMaclean’s, The Globe and Mail and the quirkier, personality-driven Walrus feed were overlooked.
Yes, the list could be dismissed as just the opinion of one J-school grad, but it’s not the only list out there.Mashable’s“10 must-follow breaking news accounts on Twitter” excluded Canadians, but included a few Brits and Al-Jazeera English. Time’s 140 best feeds of 2013 had one obvious Canadian on the list: spaceman Chris Hadfield. There was apparently no room for Canucks among the journos in the “Tech,” “Politics” or “Informers” categories.
Canada is home to journalists who work just as hard in the field and have just as much, sometimes more, experience than the Americans who always appear on such lists. It’s unfortunate that others across the border aren’t taking that work into account.