Survey Says: Social Media Playing Key Role for Journalists

Nov 21 2017

Survey Says: Social Media Playing Key Role for Journalists

Being a journalist in the United States in 2017 means embracing the use of social media. Twitter especially has emerged as the preferred platform for journalists and reporters to monitor conversations, find leads and sources, and report on important stories as they break in near-real time.

However, the constant requirement to be online and in the loop means that media professionals have developed interesting usage habits, behaviors, attitudes and perceptions about social media. From power users, Twitter influencers and to passive observers, most reporters understand how instrumental social media is to their professions.

Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University recently conducted an online survey about the uses, behaviors, attitudes and perceptions of social media among journalists. This resulting Cision 2017 Global Social Journalism Study stems from 257 responses from journalists and media professionals collected during April and May 2017.

A few of the more interesting findings we found in the study include:

  • According to results from the survey, journalists depend upon “experts” and “industry and professional contacts” on their social media channels with PR sources coming in third. Despite broader access, only 14 percent of respondents said the public is one of their two key sources of information, “suggesting U.S. journalists are cautious about using the public for gathering stories.”
  • The study also found that many journalists report that interaction with their readers and audiences on social media is considered an important activity and can prove beneficial. In fact, almost half of respondents reported engaging with their followers on a daily basis. These results indicate that broader conversations about the reporter’s articles, other trending topics or stories and the sharing of opinions and viewpoints are occurring on social platforms, bring the reporter and his or her audience together in a way that was not previously possible.
  • The survey also noted that nearly half of respondents feel they would be unable to carry out their daily work and reporting without social media. These findings were higher than in previous years, indicating that social media is embedded into most journalist’s reporting practices in 2017.

As public relations professionals, it’s up to us to leverage these new methods of communication with media as appropriate.  For both PR people and journalists, social media interaction is now the norm and no longer the exception.

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