Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Arnie Seipel (@NPRnie), a producer with NPR's elections unit.
Twitter has become a necessity when working the elections beat, whether from NPR's headquarters in Washington or out across the country. I depend on it to make sure I'm not missing out on important (or unimportant) news, remind myself that there are things going on in the world that have nothing to do with politics, and to get a good laugh.
To stay on top of the latest campaign news, I have to follow Teagan Goddard (@politicalwire), publisher of CQ Roll Call's Political Wire. Goddard aggregates a nice mix of breaking news, the latest buzz and oddball stories that are actually interesting. I'd also recommend following New York Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts (@nytjim) if you want breaking news and interesting reads from outside the Beltway.
I'm a rookie when it comes to presidential campaigns, so going to Iowa and New Hampshire for the first contests of the year was the fulfillment of a dream hatched one long November night when I was probably too young to obsess over politics. Even though the 2012 race is now far removed from the Hawkeye and Granite states, I still enjoy getting tweets from Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich (@KObradovich) and University of New Hampshire political scientist Dante Scala (@graniteprof) on local and national politics.
Most political junkies may know that CBS Radio's White House correspondent Mark Knoller (@markknoller) is the resident stat keeper at the White House. On Twitter, he not only reports the number of trips the president has taken to Camp David or how many campaign fundraisers he's attended — he can compare those numbers to other modern presidents, providing some pretty useful insight. Because Knoller is on the White House beat day in and day out, his tweets are also a great way to keep track of any news coming from the administration.
As for a good laugh, I recommend his unauthorized alter-ego @SnarkKnoller.
Last week in this column, my boss Neal Carruth (@ncarruth) gave a shout-out to me and a few of our colleagues on the political beat. I'd like to encourage you to follow some of the public radio stars of tomorrow, even some who aren't necessarily tweeting about politics: Kimberly Adams (@kmanews), Tom Dreisbach (@TomDreisbach), John Asante (@jkbasante), Sami Yenigun, (@Sami_Yenigun), Zoe Chace (@zchace), Jacob Margolis (@jacobmargolis) and Brent Baughman (@brentbaughman).
Follow our recommendations so far, and get future picks, here: https://twitter.com/#!/nprpolitics/the-npr-twitterati