Berkeleyside has been named Best Local Twitter Account in the East Bay Express Best of the East Bay 2018 awards. The win, which is based on votes cast by East Bay Express readers, was published in the Aug. 15-21 edition of the paper.
Berkeleyside won the same category in 2015. At that point, Berkeleyside had 20,000 Twitter followers. That number has grown significantly and, just last week, crossed the 60,000 threshold. Coincidentally, Berkeleyside has also posted just shy of 60,000 tweets — one for every follower — since October 2009 when the news site was launched and joined Twitter.
Berkeleyside uses Twitter in a variety of ways. Every story we publish is tweeted out; we retweet useful public-service information, community events and photos from other Twitter users, as well other news relevant to our community, and we live-tweet and video in real time rapidly developing incidents like protests. Twitter is one of the many ways we make ourselves accessible to our readers. People use it to send us tips and to reach us directly via direct message.
You don’t need to be on Twitter to see our feed, which is sometimes the first place we post breaking news while we gather information for a fuller report.
— Dorothy Hearst (@DorothyHearst) August 5, 2018
Occasionally we even debunk falsehoods on Twitter, as was the case in July when a tweet by California senator Kamala Harris about integration at Berkeley schools led to a “smackdown” between a right-wing website with White House credentials and Berkeleyside, and then to a segment on KQED Forum.
We also have a dedicated following for our #berkmtg coverage — tweets posted live from the press desk in Berkeley City Council chambers that chronicle the decision making of our local elected officials as well as some of the more entertaining aspects of the meetings. With occasional jokes stirred into the mix (you try live tweeting a meeting that lasts five or six hours without some light relief). Similarly, we tweet from the Berkeley School Board meetings using the #BUSDmtg hashtag.
— Berkeleyside (@berkeleyside) August 11, 2018