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Research reveals more than a quarter of journalists "can't work without social media"

19 September 2012

Annual social media survey by Canterbury Christ Church University and media solutions provider, Cision discovers increasing social media dependence amongst journalists.

More than a quarter of UK journalists are unable to work without social media despite an increasing number of concerns about productivity, privacy and the future of journalism, according to the 2012 social journalist study results.

Despite spiralling dependency on social media, concerns about privacy were an impediment to greater use, with 16% of respondents claiming social media will kill journalism.

Dr Agnes Gulyas, Principal Lecturer, Department of Media at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “This year’s survey found that, compared to last year, journalists are using a greater variety of social media tools and are more reliant on social media for many of their professional tasks. However, we also found that journalists are less positive about some of the impacts of social media, such as on their engagement with their audience, their productivity and the quality of journalism.”

Other key findings from the research were:

  • 39% of respondents said that social media has improved their productivity.
  • The most popular social media among UK journalists is Twitter (80%)
  • Those who agree social media enables them to be more engaged with their audience is down from 43% in 2011 to 27%.
  • Age is the most important demographic influence on social media use.
  • The media sector journalists work in has a more significant impact on their uses and views than other professional factors.
  • Using Forrester Research Tecnographics ® segmentation model as a comparison, the study revealed that journalists’ personal, non-work use of social media differs from those of the general population. Journalists are much more active general users and they a play a key role in the world of social media through content creation, networking and other active uses.

“Unique to this study is the identification of types of professional social media users; architects, promoters, hunters, observers and sceptics” added Kristine Pole, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Canterbury Christ Church University.

“They all approach social media differently, notably patterns of usage, the way that they embed these tools in their work, and their attitudes towards social media. The largest group in the UK is the hunter (35%) who is driven to use social media for sourcing, finding contacts and networking, gives limited contributions to content but has a high number of Twitter followers. Understanding journalists’ social media habits can help media organisations run their businesses more effectively as well as help PR professionals understand how to successfully communicate with different types of journalists”, she said.

Tom Ritchie, Managing Director Cision UK, said: “Our previous studies confirmed that social media usage is standard for UK journalists. It seems that sourcing information has overtaken self-promotion as their primary social activity, and I wonder if this is related to the expressed anxiety over privacy and Big Data.”

Download the full report here: http://www.cision.com/uk/public-relations-white-papers/social-journalism-study-frm2012/

An infographic of the results is also here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/103587400/infographic_SJS-2012.pdf

/Ends

Notes to Editor

About the survey

Cisions and Canterbury Christ Church University conducted an online survey about journalists’ uses and perceptions of, and attitude toward, social media. Respondents were taken from Cision’s media database of more than 1.2 million influencers globally. This year’s study received over 3,650 responses from journalists in 11 different countries, UK, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, US, Canada, and Australia. This particular report takes a closer look at the UK and is based on 769 response collected during June and July analysis, based on a 95% confidence interval, examined difference and similarities between sub-populations of respondents. The types of professional social media users were developed using cluster analysis.

Results of the global study will be published soon. For more information about the UK and global surveys, please contact Hollie Stephens on hollie.stephens@cision.com

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • We are the third highest university in England for graduates in employment, with 94.3% of our most recent UK undergraduates employed or in further study six months after completing their studies.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

About Cision

Cision is the leading provider of software, services, and tools to the public relations and marketing industry. Marketing and PR professional use our products to help manage all aspects of their brands – from identifying key media and influencers to connecting with audiences; monitoring traditional and social media; and analysing outcomes. Journalists, bloggers and other influencers use Cision’s tools to research story ideas, track trends and maintain their public profiles. Cision is present in Europe, North America and Asia, had partners in over 125 countries and is quoted on the Nordic Exchange with revenue of |SEK 1.0 billion in 2011. For more information, visit www.cision.com.

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