Are You Influential Enough to be one of NBC’s Local News Tweeps?

You’ve no doubt seen Twitter streams splashed across the ticker at the bottom of CNN newscasts in recent months – and now NBC wants to take this one step further. They’re looking for the most influential Twitter celebrities in the New York and Washington DC areas, to provide ongoing on-the-ground coverage of local news.

This local-meets-social news initiative is called “The 20“, and it’s designed to boost the profile of 20 local Twitter stars and, at the same time, access breaking news via Twitter.

NBC will determine the Twitter users to follow by measuring “input from social media organizations and factor in the trending local headlines and the topics driving the local conversation”. They hope that “The 20” will become a local watercooler for issues important to New Yorkers and Washingtonians.

You’ll be able to follow these 20 Twitter news celebs on the “The 20” New York Tumblr and Washington Tumblr, the NBC “The 20” Twitter list, and on occasional on-air broadcasts.

According to Lost Remote, NBC is planning to roll out “The 20” into every local NBC market, with a social media “point person” at every station to manage these Twitter groups and increase NBC’s social presence.

Twitter has been a big part of the traditional newsroom for over a year now, sparked by the CNN-Ashton Kutcher Twitter war and then becoming a serious part of journalism. We’re excited to see NBC reaching out to local tweeps in order to get at the issues most relevant to locals, and we hope to see more news organizations embracing creative uses of Twitter in the future.