Journalists <3 social media

Here’s an interesting article by Jeremy Porter from blog Journalists that looks at how 70 per cent of journalists use social networks to assist in reporting.

According to a new survey from Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), as reported in PRWeek , 70 percent of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting (compared to 41 percent last year). This is a huge spike in one year, though it shouldn’t surprise any of us with all the lists of journalists using Twitter and other social networks.

The survey also found that 69 percent of respondents go to company websites to assist in their reporting, while 66 percent use blogs, 51 percent use Wikipedia (wow), 48 percent go to online videos (double wow), and 47 percent use Twitter and other microblogging services (would have guessed higher on this one). A big part of this shift has to revolve around journalists having less help to do their jobs, while being required to produce more content across various formats in near real-time. Journalists have no choice but to use these tools to find sources fast – and in some instances – crowdsource suggestions, tips and interviews. Social media is helping journalists do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, just as it helps citizen journalists and the general public find information faster than they could in traditional media. Social media is a much faster path to answers than traditional online or offline methods. In the Middleberg survey, 92 percent of journalists strongly or somewhat agreed that social media is enhancing journalism, citing the tools’ benefits for helping them work faster. When it comes to Twitter, 57 percent of journalists found this social medium to be credible. When you consider the skepticism present in many newsrooms around new technologies, this is a significant data point. There is no question that journalists are embracing this channel as a platform of choice for social media journalism (if there is such a thing). Of course, the survey has only tabulated the results from 317 journalism professionals so far. The survey is still open for a few more weeks, with the final results set to be reported in early November at the SNCR Research Symposium & Awards Gala. We don’t expect the numbers to change that drastically betwen now and the final report.

My comments:

While I do not work in a news room, it is hard for me to comment on how I use social media to enhance my journalism, however I work at a women’s magazine and we use Twitter as a way to engage with the readers. We try to promote dialogue, allow people to see what is install for the next issue and also create a sense that we are people just like them. Often the Twitter remarks will be something that is happening in the office. eg “Congrates Ruth for completing the City to Surf.” or “Morning teas today looking forward to brownies.” These often banal comments create a level of intimacy that often cannot be achieved through printed stories. Readers have the ability to follow along and engage in comments and discussion on things they feel passionate or care about.

I think that the magazine Shop Til You Drop uses Twitter really well.  They have fashion sale information which their readers would obviously love to know about, Shop Til You Drop events that are taking place, as well as scouting and call outs for real people that they need in up coming issues. The information on clothes, fashion and shopping is immediate and quick and is a great way to get the information out there that wouldn’t be suitable to a monthly magazine due to timeliness. The Twitter adds to the magazine and gives the readers another form of receiving and gaining information. Definitely check it out – Shop Til You Drop

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Filed under Internet, Journalism, Social media, Social networking

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