Examining who’s Tweeting a breaking story

The Doce Fire has burned at least 5,000 acres near Prescott, Ariz., threatening homes, causing evacuations and making a pretty good local news story.

It also lets us take an in-depth look into the mechanics of tweeting what’s a fairly “routine” breaking news story. The next few posts will be about that.

First, let’s look at coverage. By using a proximity search within the CustomScoop monitoring engine, we’re picking up every story that has “Doce” within 15 words of “fire.” It’s a broad search, but it does the job. It doesn’t take into account the quality or depth of the mention, but for our purposes (measuring reach), it doesn’t matter if it’s a mention in a wire brief or if it’s a feature story.

Mentions of Doce within 15 words of fire in the first 27 hours of coverage

Mentions of Doce within 15 words of fire in the first 27 hours of coverage

The biggest outlet? Twitter at 33 percent of mentions. Next up, TV at 20 percent, followed by newspapers at 17 percent.

That in itself is pretty interesting. It confirms the validity — not that it needed confirming — as Twitter as a breaking news source. Here, we see a lot of frequency. But when we look deeper, the people doing much of the tweeting are news media. The top 10 tweeters using the hashtag “#docefire,” with number of tweets in parentheses.

1. @wildlandfireaz — Interagency account for wildland fire news in Arizona (61)

2. @myfoxphoenix — Phoenix Fox TV affiliate (55)

3. @12News — Phoenix NBC affiliate (53)

4. @PatrickRadioPro — Prescott, Ariz., radio personality (47)

5. @TrishaHendricks — Reporter for Phoenix NBC affiliate (43)

6.  @AmyGleich — Graduate student at Arizona State’s journalism school, primarily RTing (35)

7. @ABC15 — Phoenix ABC affiliate (33)

8. @ArizonaNewsNet — Independent news alert service (33)

9. @NancyHarrisonAZ — Northern Arizona-based manager for Phoenix NBC affiliate (33)

10. @AnitaSearchGuru — Anita Williams, Prescott resident, (31)

Eight of the top 10 are “traditional” news outlets, one (@ArizonaNewsNet) is a  Web-based outlet and one is a local person with no dog in the media game.

See who’s missing? The state’s largest newspaper, The Arizona Republic.

Tomorrow: The power of a single Tweet.