Big newspapers are joining Twitter at an alarming rate, in part because it offers another avenue for story ideas and scoops. Some newspaper execs are also trying to find a way to make money from Twitter.
This is a tricky area, because the people who use Twitter have shown that they are not fans of spam, or anything remotely resembling spam, and will take swift action (unfollow, possibly report the account) if it is suspected.
For big newspapers, which often have big debt loads and vastly diverse audiences, using Twitter as an advertising platform is challenging. But for small and medium-sized titles, an opportunity exists.