Journalists and news outlets find a new tool in VoterTide

VoterTide, a tool used by politicians to monitor social media activity, is now receiving recognition as a tool for journalists and media outlets as well. The Omaha-based startup has been cited over the past few months as a source for several mainstream media outlets, including Adweek, PBS News Hour, Businessweek (above) and, more locally, the

VoterTide, a tool used by politicians to monitor social media activity, is now receiving recognition as a tool for journalists and media outlets as well.

The Omaha-based startup has been cited over the past few months as a source for several mainstream media outlets, including Adweek, PBS News Hour, Businessweek (above) and, more locally, the Lincoln Journal Star. Entrepreneur Magazine also recently covered political startups, featuring VoterTide.

VoterTide co-founder Jimmy Winter said in an email interview that the company has always aimed to be the go-to source for political social data, but put a needed focus on serving the press as well as politicians after hiring Leah Frelinghuysen, who now handles VoterTide’s media relations.

Left: A graph featured in a Businessweek article about Barack Obama cites VoterTide as the source.

Winter said media outlets and politicians use VoterTide in different ways. While politicians are more interested in data about their opponents, news organizations are more interested in the overall trends of the many topics VoterTide tracks on social media sites.

Winter said more than 1,000 people have signed up for VoterTide Alerts. While the number of subscribers to VoterTide Pro is fewer, they usually include news publications, campaigns, Congressional representatives and lobbying firms.

VoterTide Pro can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month for a news outlet, depending on the number of topics they want to track.

Winter said he did not see any problems with providing the information to two groups often at odds – politicians and the press.

“We are analyzing and aggregating data from all over the web,” he said, “and data does not take a side.”

 

VoterTide statistics are used during a PBS NewsHour episode:

 

Credits: Graphic from businessweek.com.

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