Media Release: Journalists rate social media as a professional tool

More than three quarters of journalists rate social media as an important professional tool, while almost 90 per cent are using social media more than they were a year ago, according to new research.

The report, based on results of an online survey of more than 900 UK journalists conducted in this month, follows a similar study, published within the past fortnight, which found 47 per cent of journalists used Twitter as a source, up from just 33 per cent last year.

The use of Facebook as a source went up to 35 per cent this year from 25 per cent in 2010.

This survey also looked at the role social media plays in the relationship between journalists and PR professionals and found 45 per cent of journalists believed that PR professionals did not make enough use of social media.

“Journalists have been quick to incorporate social media into their processes for gathering and distributing news,” Financial Times journalist Martin Stabe, author of the report, said in a release.

“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.”

Research for the report ‘How social media is changing the role of journalists’, commissioned by Daryl Willcox Publishing, found social media an emotive subject. Out of the 922 journalists surveyed, more than 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”.

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