Why Do Sports Reporters Give Away Their Scoops On Twitter?

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Major League Baseball’s annual trade deadline is approaching once again, and that means sports reporters nationwide are jockeying for scoops big and small on baseball’s 30 teams.

But here is what’s weird: Instead of posting their latest nuggets on their publishers’ web sites, reporters from advertising-supported outlets like ESPN.com and Yahoo keep giving away their scoops on Twitter.

One guy just tweeted: “Rays source: Seriously doubt we get Werth. DeJesus was the better bet until he ran into the wall.” He didn’t include any link at all!

All the big names do it, from ESPN.com’s Buster Olney to Sport Illustrated’s Jon Heyman to Yahoo’s Tim Brown.

(Click here for a bunch of examples.)

We can’t figure this out. A reporter here would never tweet a scoop instead of posting it. We’d post it and then tweet a headline with link to our story.

Do the publishers who pay these writers not care that they’re giving away ad impressions in favour of building up their personal brands? Why don’t the writers punch out a short story and link to it from Twitter instead?

Not everyone is complaining about the situation. A site called MLBTradeRumors.com seems to be making hay collecting these tweet scoops into stories it’ll happily serve ad impressions against.

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