Number of journalists sourcing stories via social media on rise

NEW YORK: The Internet, in general, and social media is vastly changing the way reporters do their jobs. In a new survey, 70% of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting, compared to 41% in last year's survey.

NEW YORK: The Internet, in general, and social media is vastly changing the way reporters do their jobs. In a new survey from Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), 70% of journalists said they use social networks to assist in reporting, compared to 41% in last year's "Survey of Media in the Wired World."

Additionally, 69% of respondents go to company Web sites to assist in their reporting, while 66% use blogs, 51% use Wikipedia, 48% go to online videos, 47% use Twitter or other microblogging services, 30% use instant messaging, and 25% use podcasts.

"You can just see the development of journalists moving online. Journalists are using social media in new ways," said CEO Don Middleberg, while presenting the preliminary findings at an event at the agency's office today, September 22.

The study found that 92% of journalists either strongly agree or somewhat agree that social media in enhancing journalism, as the tools help them be faster and more efficient, allow them to connect with people and more sources, and improves their research and relationship with the audience.

The survey, in its second year, also looked at the credibility of sites like Twitter and online video sites. For Twitter, 57% of respondents said "somewhat credible" and 6% said "very credible," and for online video, 66% said somewhat credible and 13% said very credible. Company Web sites are the most credible, with 53% saying somewhat and 36% saying very.

The online study has surveyed more than 317 journalism professionals so far, and will be open for a few more weeks, as the final results will be reported in early November 6 at the SNCR Research Symposium & Awards Gala.

The event today also featured Jen McClure, founder and president of SNCR, speaking about the findings and Shel Holtz discussing the implications of social media on communication. Adam Glazer, president of Web design and online marketing consulting company Glazer Enterprises, also took a look at Ford as an example for best practices of using social media. And Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of PCMag.com, and Karen Bannan, a writer and editor for outlets including New York Times and Crain's, explained how they use social media in their jobs.

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