More than half (59 per cent) of Twitter users follow at least one UK national newspaper or journalist on the site, according to research from Newsworks.
The study of 1,200 Twitter users found that 35 per cent follow a main newspaper brand on Twitter, while 17 per cent follow a sub-brand, such as the Sun’s Sunmotorsport account. In addition, 60 per cent said they engaged with news providers on Twitter that they wouldn’t normally read in print, while 43 per cent actively posted link to articles and 57 per cent retweeted interesting links and comments.
For some titles, individual journalists amassed higher followers than the brand itself, such as the Daily Telegraph’s football correspondent Henry Winter who has 652,000 followers compared to the Telegraph’s 427,000.
Rufus Olins, chief executive of Newsworks, said: “We are delighted this joint research project with Twitter has helped us get under the skin of what we instinctively knew was a special relationship between newsbrands and Twitter. They are interdependent and mutually beneficial.
“We are immersed in news. We want to be the first to know and also to be guided by expert insight and interpretations. The combination of news brands and Twitter helps keep us informed and opinionated. Each helps the other to grow its audiences and influence.”
More than half (52 per cent) of respondents said they followed new accounts because they were the first to report breaking news when it happens on the social network, and 61 per cent identified Twitter as the platform that gave them access to news as it happens.