So, this social media stuff. How exactly does it fit into the journalist's working day? It's as important as a call to the police voicebank or the fire station used to be back in the day, it seems.
Four years ago when I joined Twitter, I only did so in order to use it as a device for a TV package I was doing for the BBC about how British politicians were using social media.
In my piece to camera, where I pretended to tweet from my new account, I basically said they were all a bit rubbish compared to Barack Obama who'd won the 2008 election off the back of a ground breaking social media campaign.
Apart from a few savvy pioneers at Westminster, that was mostly true back then. But how things have changed. And not just for politicians but also for journalists like me.
Social media is so useful for helping us to do our jobs I wonder how we coped before.
Here are five ways I use social media.
- Tracking down potential guests
You want to find someone featured in a story you’ve seen in another outlet maybe. You know a name and maybe there's a picture too.
Tap that name into Facebook and the chances their profile will pop up. A couple of direct messages later you’re talking to them on the phone.
- Looking for case studies
With TV, interviewing real people affected by the story you are covering brings it to life. A Facebook appeal for interviewees normally produces a number of responses.
Twitter is particularly useful for this. It's amazing how far 140 characters trailing the stories and guests on an upcoming programme can go with just a handful of retweets.
- Getting swift reaction to a breaking story
A major news event has happened. Normally within minutes there is Twitter reaction – words and pictures - from across the world which you can use. They also indicate who to target as potential guests.
- To spark debate
It's important to get an idea of how the audience reacts to particular stories. Encouraging viewers to comment on programme items via Twitter and Facebook can feed into subsequent coverage, such as putting comments to interviewees.
Anne Alexander is political producer for ITV Daybreak.
You can sign-up for our every-other-weekly email. You can do that here.