What Do You Think? Most Useful Media Studies Twitter Streams

January 28, 2010
By | 5 Comments

Twitter has completely changed the way I relate with my media studies colleagues.  Scratch that: Twitter has allowed me to relate, communicate, share links, and throw around ideas with dozens of grad students, professors, and critics across the globe who are invested, in one way or another, in media studies.  Two years ago, the only way to get in touch with this community would be at a conference, and even that would be difficult and pricey, to say nothing for the underlying awkwardness that afflicts academic meet-and-greets as a general rule.

Those unfamiliar with Twitter, or who join and find it useless, generally neglect the principle that makes Twitter run: it’s not so much about who follows you, but who you’re following.  In other words, the only way to make it interesting and valuable — to make connections and find links and make it a utility in your research — is to follow people who are interesting and valuable and function, as odd as it sounds, as utilities.

The list below features Twitter Accounts that I’ve personally found consistently useful and valuable.  These Twitterers post often (but not too often); they regularly lead me to interesting and diverse links; they retweet compelling links and ideas from the people that they follow.  And some of them are funny to boot.

These are my seven, and they indicate my interest in contemporary Hollywood and celebrity gossip and culture.

Film Studies for Free/Catherine Grant:  Many of us are familiar with Grant’s exceptional website of the same name.  This points me there — and elsewhere — on a regular basis, linking to scholarship on a diverse range of films from all over the world that is free and accesible to all.

Michael Aronson:  Mike may be my former MA advisor at the University of Oregon, but he’s also an accomplished film historian with a focus on exhibition in the silent era.  His ‘Silent Cine Tip o Day’ takes me to newly restored streaming silent cinema, announces new Norma Talmedge DVDs, or alerts me of a new Oscar Micheaux concept album.

The Awl:  The Awl is like Gawker reborn, with far less commercialism and huge implants of wit, sarcasm, and general alertness as to the state of our highly-mediated world.  They don’t only talk about media, but they often do, and it’s always compelling.  And all publications should learn from their clever Twitter headlines to tempt you to the actual article.

filmdrblog: The anonymous Dr. seemingly finds every piece of valuable writing on media studies on a daily basis.  Magic.

Roger Ebert:  Last week, Jezebel argued that Ebert has completely reinvented himself in the years since his cancer and surgery, and he’s more vital and honest than ever before.  You see it in his columns and blogs, but you especially see it in his Tweets, where he comments on everything from politics to Joan Rivers.

Anne Thompson:  The former Variety author, now at home at IndieWire, isn’t that funny or clever.  But she has an MA in Media Studies, and she knows the business.  Mix of links, retweets, and commentary.

RealityBlurred:  “Andy Dehnhart babysits television’s bastard child.”  And he does it very, very well.

James Poniewozik: Writes for Time on television and new media, but also runs an extremely lively account.  In his words, “I wear your scorn like a badge of honor.”  He’s incisive, and he even writes back, even to us minions!

So what are yours?



5 Responses to “ What Do You Think? Most Useful Media Studies Twitter Streams ”

  1. Lindsay H. Garrison on January 28, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    These are great, Annie. I would also add:

    TV by the Numbers (@TVbytheNumbers)- it’s a somewhat automated feed that updates with new stories at their blog, but it’s always useful info on ratings, industry, etc. And reading it in the context of my twitter feed seems so much better than reading it just in RSS form in my google reader, for some reason.

    Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) – TV reporter for the NYTimes and its MediaDecoder blog, he offers consistently decent commentary and a bevy of interesting/useful links (many of which are to NYT stories before they hit the stands).

  2. Jason Mittell on January 28, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    I’ve found Twitter quite good for communicating with TV critics, who are often quite active and enjoy chatting back & forth. Some key ones beyond Poniewozik are Alan Sepinwall, Mo Ryan, Daniel Fienberg, and Todd VanDerWerff – see http://twitter.com/ericduckman/tv-critics for one pretty good list of those feeds.

    There are also good lists of media scholars, such as http://twitter.com/mznewman/media-scholars

  3. Alisa Perren on January 28, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Nice post! A few others I’d add:

    –Michael Schneider from Variety for his snarky comments on the TV biz: http://twitter.com/franklinavenue

    –Ben Fritz from the LA Times offers interesting tidbits about the journalistic research & writing process (mostly covering gaming and film): http://twitter.com/benfritz

    –For policy and industry-related tweets see JB Flint: http://twitter.com/JBFlint

    –Movie City News headline editor Ray Pride offers a range of tweets on the film biz and politics. He also seems to have a talent for finding compelling tweets by others: http://twitter.com/raypride

  4. Ben Aslinger on January 28, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    I would add the headline feeds from Billboard_Music, pitchforkmedia, Variety_Tech, Variety_Music, Variety_TV, MediaweekDotCom, and gamasutra. Pew_Internet is great for stats and info about digital and Net culture and policy.

  5. Jon on January 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Nice post. I’d also add @socimages: the twitter-face of the Sociological Images blog on gender/race treatment in the media.

    Thanks for the tip about @Filmdrblog. Gold.