UK journalists use social media despite fears of impact on quality

Aug 04, 2011

According to a major new survey by Canterbury Christ Church University and Cision, the leading provider of PR software and services, 90% of journalists regularly use social media, but most of those surveyed were worried about its accuracy and reliability, with more than half of respondents agreeing that social media encourages softer, more opinion-oriented news.

Dr. Agnes Gulyas, Principal Lecturer, Department of Media at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “The survey suggests that is having a dramatic impact on the industry where journalists now have access to a range of sources to help them research, verify, monitor and most of all publish their work. What is interesting is that social media sites are being used to supplement existing contacts and PR professionals, but is not supplanting them. It's likely that whilst concerns over accuracy and reliability remain, social media will be part of the journalists’ tool kit rather than their only tool.”

Falk Rehkopf, Director, Special Projects with Cision, commented: “In 2010, through our first Social Journalism Study, we already uncovered that Twitter is the de facto social network for UK journalists. I am very pleased that our follow-up in 2011, the most comprehensive social media study of its kind, allowed us to drill down further and gain greater insight.

“The valid data clearly demonstrates enormous differences in uptake, views and usage of social media among journalists, influenced by what type of media the journalists works for, the size of the organisation as well as the journalist’s seniority. I was surprised to learn how important social media sites are to radio journalists in comparison to newspaper journalists who are least engaged.”

Other key findings:

• 90% of UK journalists use social media tools more now compared to three years ago – there is also an increase in the use of search engines (53%)
• A variety of social media tools are used but most popular are microblogs (70%) information depositories such as Wikipedia (68%) and social networks such as Facebook (67%)
• 89% of the surveyed journalists most commonly use social media for publishing and distributing their work
• PR professionals still use traditional traditional forms of communications to contact journalists such as email/fax (97%), press releases (86%) and face-to-face contact (48%) 
• Radio and online journalists fully embrace social media with 61% actively blogging, whereas newspaper and magazine journalists are active to a lesser degree (51%)
• The vast majority (85%) of UK used some type of mobile devices in their work, with smartphones being the most popular tool (76%)

Kristine Pole, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Canterbury Christ Church University, added: “Professional practices and values are changing because of social media, which will have consequences on the social, political and economic roles of media in society.

“The speed and extent of the changes are truly remarkable, and one struggles to find many other technological developments which have had similar effect on the profession within such a short period of time. The survey reveals that a great advantage of social media, and a reason for its popularity, is its flexibility and diversity of its potential use.”

Explore further: Best of Last Week - Zero friction quantum engine, twisted radio beams and Ebola outbreak update

More information: uk.cision.com/en-gb/Resources/… al-journalism-study/

Provided by Canterbury Christ Church University

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook launches page for journalists

Apr 06, 2011

Facebook has launched a media resource page to help journalists use the social network as a reporting tool and better connect with their audience.

Can ordinary people make money on Twitter?

Mar 09, 2011

Reports this week that celebrities are earning up to $10,000 per tweet on Micro-blogging site Twitter has caught the attention of ordinary social media users who are now asking how they can make money too.

Science in the media

Jan 22, 2010

A major new report into science and the media has drawn on research by Cardiff University which found that that in some respects specialist science news reporting in the UK is in relatively good health. However the research ...

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

Sep 19, 2014

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 0