Monday, April 18, 2011

NPR's Andy Carvin Enjoys The Tweet Life

From Pam Harbaugh, Florida Today:
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It's no wonder Andy Carvin turned out to be a news junky.

While growing up in Indialantic, Florida at least two newspapers always were lying around the house. The local news was on television in the background during dinner.

Andy and his brother, Eric pored over the newspaper at breakfast, discovering a world beyond Brevard County.

So, yes, the world had a strong influence on Carvin. Now, the 1989 Melbourne High graduate is returning the favor.

As National Public Radio's senior strategist specializing in social media, Carvin, 39, is known to more than 43,000 Twitter followers as @acarvin.

From his office in Washington, he spends up to 17 hours sending nearly 300 Twitter tweets a day about minute-by-minute events, mostly in North Africa and the Middle East. Called a curator of information, he re-tweets first-person experiences, often shocking and heart-wrenching, of the so-called Jasmine Revolution. In the process, he puts a human face on the Arab and Muslim freedom fighters.

"If part of my tweeting helps expose the American public to a broader understanding to what Arabs and Muslims are like, so much the better," Carvin said.

His effect is so far reaching that Time magazine recently included him in its poll of "100 Most Influential People." As of Monday, he was ranked 66 out of 203 entries, two places behind Colin Firth.

"Everybody who follows the Middle East owes a debt to Andy," said New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Nicholas Kristof. "He's the maestro of the region's Twitter feed."

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