More than three quarters of journalists rate social media as an important professional tool, while almost 90% are using social media more than they were a year ago, according to new research from Daryl Willcox Publishing.
Results of the online survey of over 900 UK journalists conducted in May 2011* are part of a new whitepaper called “How social media is changing the role of journalists”. The whitepaper, which charts the rise of social media in journalism and how its changing the needs of the industry, is written by Financial Times journalist Martin Stabe.
Weve looked at the impact of social media on journalism, particularly since 2005 with the emergence of sites like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, said Daryl Willcox, Chairman of Daryl Willcox Publishing. Reliance on social media for newsgathering is on the rise and the new facets have been added to the role of journalists. Social media is now part of the daily routine of many reporters.
Social media appears to be an emotive subject out of the 957 journalists surveyed, over 200 made additional comments some scathing, slamming social media as a pointless communication channel to manage, and some pointing to the fact they are now dependent on these websites as news sources.
The survey also looked at the role social media plays in the relationship between journalists and PR professionals.
Communicating with PR professionals currently has a relatively insignificant role in journalists use of social media. 44% of journalists said they believed that PR professionals did not make enough use of social media. Emailed news releases and pitches (98% and 73% respectively), approaches by phone (56%) and traditional face-to-face events (51%) significantly exceeded contact by social media (the highest being Twitter at around 25%).
Reasons cited included some PR professionals failing to understand the need to build genuine relationships on social media, and lack of resources to respond quickly to journalists.
“Journalists have been quick to incorporate social media into their processes for gathering and distributing news,” said Martin Stabe, author of the report. But journalists see social media sites primarily as a channel where they can communicate directly with potential sources or engaged members of their audience, without much involvement from PR professionals. However, as the report shows, this is only part of the story. Social media also empowers PR professionals to change the way they communicate with journalists or directly to customers.”
Download the whitepaper How social media is changing the role of journalists at www.dwpub.com/whitepapers.php?int=Journalists_and_social_med…
Daryl Willcox continued: With the current storm surrounding newspaper reporting bans when so-called super injunctions are broken across social sites by the masses, the spotlight has been thrown on the way social websites are not only becoming a critical method of news dissemination but also influencing conventional UK media.