India TV's Rajat Sharma has highest number of Twitter followers: Study

Sharma has 9.75 million followers on twitter.

Mumbai: According to a study by Muck Rack ‘The 2022 State of Journalism on Twitter,’ India TV editor-in-chief and chairman Rajat Sharma is the most followed verified journalist on Twitter following MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and CNN host Anderson Cooper.

India Today news anchor and journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, Washington Post columnist Barkha Dutt and Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary are also in the league for having huge followership on Twitter globally which includes Washington Post contributor Carlos Loret De Mola, freelance journalist Joaquín López Dóriga, The Guardian sports journalist Fabrizio Romano and owner Carmen Aristegui.

India’s freelance journalist and social media activist Sadiya Parveen took the number one spot for achieving the highest number of Twitter followers with a one year old account. She gained 15,367 followers closely followed by another Indian journalist Abdul Kalam who had 13,143 followers.

Muck Rack study includes only verified journalists within all rankings and roundups. The survey of 2,547 journalists between 4 January to 25 January found that 77 per cent of the respondents (journalists) value Twitter more than any other social media platform. About 39 per cent journalists said that they plan on spending more time on Twitter in 2022 than they did last year. Journalists also ranked Twitter as one of their top destinations for finding news, second only to online newspapers and magazines.

Muck Rack editorial director Andrew Mercier said, “And even amid controversies and potential acquisitions, it’s likely Twitter will remain a leading platform for the foreseeable future.”

The media outlets with the most collective followers were CNN, ESPN, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Fox News, NBC News, BBC, The Guardian and The Athletic. When it came to media outlets with the most journalists present on Twitter, the BBC led the pack with 1,783 journalists active on the social media platform. It was followed by Bloomberg News, The New York Times, Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and ABC News (Australia).

The trends spotted in the report show that the average journalist covers four beats as compared to last year where they covered three beats. It also highlighted that most surveyed journalists create content in at least one medium in addition to their primary medium with digital having the highest share at 38 per cent followed by print at 25 per cent, newsletters at 17 per cent and podcast at 15 per cent. Of the journalists surveyed, fewer said that CEOs and company PR professionals are credible sources for reporting. However, more journalists found social media personalities (17 per cent vs 12 per cent last year) and celebrity spokespeople (14 per cent vs 12 per cent last year) more credible than they did last year.

According to the study, a third of journalists surveyed believed (32 per cent) that audience trust in their coverage has increased. Most importantly, most journalists turn to online newspapers (57 per cent) or Twitter (18 per cent) first for news. Majority of journalists surveyed (62 per cent) reported that they prefer Zoom for virtual events. And 46 per cent of journalists say that an event going virtual does not affect their likelihood of covering it.  

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