Asheville Citizen-Times reporters crank up the tweet machine ahead of new editor’s arrival

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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twitter_2014Asheville Citizen-Times reporters, once mostly silent on the popular social media platform Twitter, have suddenly been tweeting up a storm. The burst of activity last week coincides with the imminent arrival of the newspaper’s new editor Josh Awtry, who has a reputation for demanding interaction with readers via social media platforms.

On Tuesday night, reporters Jon Ostendorff and John Boyle blasted out dozens of tweets as they covered the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council, respectively. Ostendorff has been fairly regular on Twitter over the past few years, but Boyle has been only an occasional tweeter. I made note of the flurry of activity:

 Jon Ostendorff tweeting from a Buncombe commish meeting? John Boyle tweeting from an AVL City Council meeting? Must be new boss in town.

i love it! .@AnswerManBoyle .@JonOstendorff .@jawtry

Boyle responded:

@Ashevegas we just love tweeting, bro!

I’m sure JB loves to tweet, but I think it’s clear that the Citizen-Times crew either received their marching orders from Awtry’s recent visit, or can see the writing on the wall. Anyway, Awtry, the new editor, took notice, tweeting to Boyle:


@AnswerManBoyle Your rapid-fire tweets are giving me a front-row seat; I’ll bring a bucket of ice water to cool your digits in next week.
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I’m glad to see it. I’m a fan of Twitter, having been far more active on that platform than Facebook since the start of the social media platform revolution. When I returned to the Citizen-Times in 2010, one of the first things I did was, with the help of my former colleague Jaime McKee, set up a series of Twitter training sessions with fellow reporters. We got everybody signed up and showed ’em how it works. But alas, not everyone picked it up. With the new boss coming to town, it looks like that has changed.

See you on the twitters.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Jaime January 21, 2014

    If I recall, I was training people on social media uses the day before the big layoff of ’13. I still have the presentation from those sessions. Glad to see people are finally putting things to good use.

  2. Murphy January 21, 2014

    Doesn’t “live tweeting” of a “news event” by reporters on teh scene defeat the purpose of having “printed content” (including newspapers) behind a paywall?

    Also, remember the recent kerfuffle when a WLOS reporter was “live tweeting” from a “crime scene”…

  3. Charlie January 21, 2014

    Let the games begin. If the ACT will just be themselves on Twitter we will learn a lot about what’s really going on over there.

  4. Rich January 20, 2014

    Dude. Let it go. If u were still there you’d be positioning ur self to brag about your social media know how for the new boss too. You sound petty.

    1. Jason Sandford January 21, 2014

      Rich, I’m noting the change, which is significant for our local reporting crew, and welcoming their move to Twitter. If you think that sounds petty, that’s your own bias showing through.

  5. John Boyle January 20, 2014

    Hey Pretty Boy,
    Slow news day over there? Thanks for the investigative report on our Twitter usage. FYI, I also live tweeted the last city council meeting I covered (also filling in for Mark Barrett) several months ago. As @CaseyBlake just said, “John excessively over-tweets every city council meeting he covers.” Hope you’re doing well, Jason. Hang in there.

    1. Big Al January 21, 2014

      Pretty Boy???

      1. Ashvegas Groupie January 21, 2014

        Jason is always the heartthrob of whatever workplace he’s at.

        1. Foothills Dweller January 21, 2014

          I saw him on a FB post last week with Stu Helm. Jason is hot.


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