FOX News and Twitter launch partnership for conventions

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

FOX News and Twitter already have a history of strategic partnerships that tap into the social platform’s vast amount of data. In January the two worked together around FOX News’ Republican debate, and now they’re partnering for the conventions, extending Twitter’s Political Index to television with a wider range of political figures. We spoke with Jeff Misenti, VP of FOX News Digital about the partnership.

Twitter’s own team is embedded into the media center in Tampa, Florida at the RNC. Adam Sharp (who heads up @gov) and his team are sharing updates via the Twitter blog. According to Twitter, Mitt Romney’s wife Ann stole the show last night with her speech, sparking a modest tweet spike (6,195 tweets per minute). Her Political Index score — which tracks both volume and positive sentiment — nearly doubled from from 45 to 83.

Together with FOX News, Twitter is extending the same analysis on air, but giving Fox a deeper look into the data. Fox is bringing the partnership on air via their “special convention coverage including America’s Election Headquarters co-hosted by anchor of Special Report Bret Baier and anchor of America Live Megyn Kelly.” In return, anchors are encouraging viewers to make their voices heard on Twitter (video).

Lost Remote: How will this relationship with Twitter build upon the way you tracked the debates? How will the analytics and algorithms be different?

Jeff Misenti: During the debates we asked users to participate by answering a question – answer/dodge – and we were specifically measuring those using the terms while watching the debates on Fox News. Moving forward we are measuring every Tweet mentioning the speakers/candidates and looking to assess its sentiment.

LR: How does this partnership work? What does Fox gain?

Misenti: We will have access to the data stream from Twitter in real time to be displayed as complimentary material as part of our online offerings and we will also have access to the data so that our team of commentators and analysts can potentially react to how the audience received messages that were delivered during the convention activities.

LR: As someone working for a TV network, how is Twitter and social media going to affect the election process?

Misenti: All of the social media tools including Twitter have speed up a process that has been around for as long as the media has. Information now spreads in minutes not hours or days; which requires that all involved are able to react accordingly. It puts pressure on reporters that are using the tools to make sure that the information that they are sending is accurate and it also puts pressure on the campaigns to react faster in responding to information. Candidates are able to speak and interact directly with the audience via these mediums hoping to turn fans or followers into voters.