Politics Home’s Paul Waugh tops new Portland NewsTweet index of influential journalists on Twitter

Politics Home’s Paul Waugh tops new Portland NewsTweet index of influential journalists on Twitter

In the second Portland NewsTweet Index, a study of over 340,000 tweets by UK journalists during October–December 2011, PoliticsHome.com Editor Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) has emerged as the UK media’s most influential Twitter user, unseating Sky News Digital Editor Neal Mann (@fieldproducer) from the top spot. Waugh was propelled to the top spot particularly by being the first journalist to break the news on Twitter that Liam Fox was set to resign.

To download a clickable graphic of the full Portland NewsTweet Index Top 50, click here.

While Mann maintains a high position at No 2 on the Index, the fluidity of the online media environment can be seen in the fact that 26 of the Top 50 tweeting journalists are new entrants to the list. Telegraph commentator Ed West (@EdWestOnline) achieved the largest increase on the previous quarter, jumping 18 places to 28th, while only one journalist – BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) – held onto the same position (13th) from one quarter to the next.

With the volume of media tweets continuing to grow quarter on quarter, and leading presenters, commentators and editors jostling for position with official newspaper accounts, the online media landscape is still being formed. Influential positions can still be seized by figures new to Twitter, those who are sharpening their skills and journalists with the good fortune to be covering key stories.

Guardian leads the field, with BBC and FT upping output

As well as ranking individual Twitter users, the Index assesses the overall performance  and topical focus of each of the UK’s main media outlets. In the last quarter of 2011, the Guardian maintained its position as the UK’s most prolific media organisation, generating 92,759 tweets over three months – down on the previous quarter, reflecting a quieter period following the intensity of the paper’s phone hacking campaign. The BBC came in at a close second, upping its output to 91,951 tweets. Impressively, further down the table the Financial Times increased its output by 40% to 33,290 tweets.

The Leveson inquiry, the Eurozone crisis and David Cameron’s use of the EU veto all appeared as major Twitter topics for a wide range of media outlets, above the Republican primaries, conflict in Syria and public sector strikes. Interestingly, while the EU was the most-tweeted theme for the BBC, Sky News featured the Leveson Inquiry more than any other story.

Mark Flanagan, Partner for Digital Communications at Portland, said:

“We launched the NewsTweet Index to give a greater understanding of who in the media is using Twitter with the best results, and to see how they are doing so. The UK has long been one of the most dynamic and innovative media markets in the world, so it is exciting to watch new and old media, broadcast and print stars, specialists and generalists compete for influence on a new platform. Last quarter we saw that those behind the camera can use Twitter to become as influential as star presenters, and now we can see the way online publications can leverage social media to outflank the traditional outlets. The race for online impact is only going to get more heated, and those who are best at using Twitter are only going to get better.”

Paul Waugh, Editor of PoliticsHome and this quarter’s Number 1 NewsTweeter, said:

“I’m delighted to have topped the Portland NewsTweet Index, particularly given the strong competition and high profile names on the list. It proves that PoliticsHome.com punches well above its weight when it comes to keeping tabs on what’s moving in Westminster and Whitehall. With its mix of pithy one-liners, gossip and insatiable appetite for controversy, politics lends itself naturally to Twitter. David Cameron may have been proved right about the perils of the medium for some MPs, but it’s still an invaluable journalistic tool for not just publishing moving stories but also for interacting with a savvy audience. Twitter itself often feels like the best rolling news service in the business, giving millions of people free, second-by-second access to breaking stories that were previously the preserve of the news wires or other industry sources. And despite the recent – and entirely understandable – moves by the broadcasters to get their news on air before putting it online, I suspect the convenience and reach of Twitter will mean it keeps on growing.”

For any media enquiries, please contact Mark Wallace, Senior Account Manager at Portland, on:

Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 07946 717 285
Landline: 0207 842 0118

Notes to Editors

The NewsTweet Index is published by Portland, Britain’s fastest-growing independent communications agency, in partnership with Twitter analysts at Tweetminster. By studying the content, impact and quantity of tweets generated by UK journalists on Twtter, the NewsTweet Index illuminates the trends and personalities which are shaping Britain’s media Twittersphere. The Index includes:

  •  The Top 50 Media Tweeters
  • Which Publication is dominating Twitter
  • Which stories have been most heavily covered in the media

The first Portland NewsTweet Index was published in November 2011 and can be found here.


To generate the Portland NewsTweet Index, Tweetminster gathered and analysed over 340,000 tweets from UK media outlets and journalists in October, November and December 2011. To assess the influence of individual journalists, each was allocated a score based on the number of mentions and retweets they received during the quarter, with extra weighting given to mentions by other influential media tweeters. Link analysis was used to study the content distributed by each media outlet by topic – please note that the Times paywall makes it impossible to assess the newspaper’s output in this way, so they do not feature in our topic analysis.

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