NPR’s Andy Carvin, tweeting the Middle East

By Paul Farhi, Tuesday, April 12, 7:24 PM

Hold on a second, says Andy Carvin mid-conversation, swiveling to his laptop. He taps away for a few seconds, as quiet as a squirrel. And then he’s back.

Carvin does this 20, 25, 30 times — it’s easy to lose count — an hour. It’s practically second nature now. Often, he doesn’t even interrupt what he’s saying; the typing and the talking happen simultaneously.

Carvin is tweeting, relentlessly. Seven days a week, often up to 16 hours a day. He once went 20 hours straight, pumping out more than 1,400 brief messages on his Twitter account, @acarvin. That’s his guess, at least. It’s easy to lose count.

Since December, Carvin, a social-media strategist at NPR in Washington, has become a one-man Twitter news bureau, chronicling fast-moving developments throughout the Middle East. By grabbing bits and pieces from Facebook, YouTube and the wider Internet and mixing them with a stunning array of eyewitness sources, Carvin has constructed a vivid and constantly evolving mosaic of the region’s convulsions.

At a given moment, Carvin may be tweeting links to fresh video from Libyan rebels, photos of street protests in Bahrain or the highlights of a NATO news conference. His followers, in turn, point him to more material — on-the-ground accounts of the government crackdown in Yemen, breaking reports from Tahrir Square, the latest from Jordan or Syria.

The result is a dizzying, nonstop ride across the geopolitical landscape, 140 characters at a time: Read more at



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