Prompted by a Twitter discussion with @jonathanancer earlier this week and a comment by @Bruceps, who urged more South African executives to join Twitter, I decided to track down some of SA’s top editors and compare how they were faring in the world of Twitter.

Encouragingly many of SA’s news editors are already active on Twitter, although there are still many that are noticeably absent.

At the top of the list of active editors (by follower numbers) is City Press’ Ferial Haffajee with more than 10,000 followers. City Press’ recent allegations of a secret Julius Malema trust fund no doubt boosted her follower numbers, as did her very public spat with (now former) Sowetan columnist Eric Miyeni.

Close behind Haffajee is the Mail&Guardian’s Nic Dawes with more than 9,000 followers. Dawes is more active on Twitter than Haffajee having posted more than 4,500 tweets against Haffajee’s 1500.

In third place is Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley (@hartleyr) with just over 4,200 followers.

Missing in action

At the other end of the scale while there many of South Africa’s editors have not yet joined the Twitter fray. Among these are the editors of Sowetan, Business Report, Cape Times, Die Burger and The Herald.

Notes: This list includes Liza Albrecht, as she was only replaced by Bokkie Gerber as editor of Rapport at the start of August. Gerber appears to now have Twitter account (@bokkie_gerber) but had tweeted just once at the time of writing.

Brendan Boyle is included as the editor of Daily Dispatch even though he only took up that post in the past day. He is, however, an active Twitter user and therefore could be expected to take his followers with him to Dispatch.

Disclaimer(s): Twitter follower counts are a moving target. Within minutes of publishing this these will be out of date. These numbers were correct at the end of August 3.

In most cases I am confident that the accounts listed belong to the editor in question. I am less sure about the accounts I have not found. They may exist but not in any easily discoverable form. If I have missed any please email me and I’ll add them to the list.

The past couple of weeks have seen huge editorship changes in the SA media, including those at Rapport, Beeld, Finweek and now Sowetan. Hopefully those changes are correctly reflected here.