Girl Talk: The Twitterati of Political Journalism

Girl Talk: The Twitterati of Political Journalism

We may not yet have a government, the independents' votes still hanging in the balance, but one tally has a clear winner. Liz Burke (or @lizEburke) charts the rise of Australia's female political journalist superstars.

From the spill to post-poll political limbo, there's one group of smart and savvy leaders who've come out on top this election. They're our breaking news BFFs, the frontbenchers in the house of Twitter, the revered reporters telling it like it is from the Press Gallery, straight to your iPhone. Or, in less verbose terms, girl crush alert! Here's our pick of the influential bunch for your social media cabinet...

Annabel Crabb
ABC Online
Twitter followers: 21,141
Arguably the most prominent journalistic political personality of the election (not to mention my ultimate career crush) Annabel offers quality commentary via ABC Online's The Drum. She has also imparted her wisdom and entertaining opinion on The Gruen Nation panel and was responsible for putting the "party" back into politics with her pioneering of daily tweeting games, like politically-themed Haikus and pictures and suggestions for #ausvotes themed cakes. Already a well respected and established reporter and political commentator, her prominence during the election pushed Crabb's followers to more than 20,000, narrowly pushing Mia Freedman off her longstanding "most followed Australian journalist" perch.

Leigh Sales
ABC Lateline
Twitter followers: 13,153
That other prominent ranga of Federal Election 2010, Lateline anchor Leigh Sales (@leighsales/aka The Well-readhead) earned her 13,000+ followers through both her finger-on-the-pulse reporting and her hilarious puns, sharp wit and observations both in and out of the news arena. One of my favourite of her recent tweets: "I'm in a state of jaffstasy - that's the feeling you get upon discovering you have a previously forgotten packet of jaffas in your handbag." Deconstructing life and politics one tweet at a time.

Latika Bourke
Twitter followers: 8,454
The proclaimed Twitter pioneer first registered on the radars of those of us not tuned into Radio 2UE back in June. It was a simpler time back then, we knew who our prime minister would be next week. The then up-and-coming Fairfax radio reporter was shot to unlikely fame when Kevin Rudd, of all people, put on his Carson Kressley hat and dissed hers. But it was a couple of weeks later, when Latika was named the 2010 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year, that it was certain it wouldn’t be the last we’d be seeing of the rising star. Although the news of her achievement was somewhat overshadowed by a certain Rudd-rolling incident that began the night of the Walkleys, it was the Labor leadership spill and following election campaign that really got the ball rolling for Latika. With iPad always in hand, Ms Bourke, under her Twitter moniker @latikambourke was the one to deliver. Championing the official election hash tag, #ausvotes, on receiving her Walkley, Latika said “Twitter has changed the way politics is reported and I’m glad I was at the forefront of that when it started.”

Samantha Maiden
The Australian
Twitter followers: 5,324
Another #spill star, breaking the news that Julia Gillard had taken the prime ministerial post on that June morning with her now historical tweet: "It's Julia no ballot." Her followers have not been let down since with the online political editor regularly delivering insights via her Despatch Box blog and print column.

Honourable mentions:
Michelle Grattan (of course): 6,819 followers
Caroline Overington: 4,496 followers
Lanai Vasek: 2,026 followers
Please add your own (here)!

Discounting these lovely ladies of the Twitterati, probably the most idolised Aussie journos around these days would be Kerry O’Brien and Laurie Oakes, and, let’s face it, they're not exactly girl-crush material.

Other stories by Liz: Chick lit writers tell critics to hush @ ABC; Federal Election Party Time!

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel


Sam said...

Caroline Overington (@overingtonc) from The Australian deserves an honorable mention to say the least I would have thought.

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

Amended, thanks Sam.

Alex said...

Sally Jackson, too!

Anonymous said...

oh i heart latika! massive girl crush - perfect timing on this article