Press Release

03 August 2011

The biggest social media survey of journalists in the UK has confirmed that members of the press regularly use social media sites to source articles, despite significant numbers expressing concern about the implications for the quality of their work.

According to a major new survey by Canterbury Christ Church University and Cision, the leading provider of PR software and services, 90% of journalists regularly use social media, but most of those surveyed were worried about its accuracy and reliability, with more than half of respondents agreeing that social media encourages softer, more opinion-oriented news.

Dr Agnes Gulyas, Principal Lecturer, Department of Media at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “The survey suggests that social media is having a dramatic impact on the industry where journalists now have access to a range of sources to help them research, verify, monitor and most of all publish their work. What is interesting is that social media sites are being used to supplement existing contacts and PR professionals, but is not supplanting them. It's likely that whilst concerns over accuracy and reliability remain, social media will be part of the journalists’ tool kit rather than their only tool.”

Falk Rehkopf, Director, Special Projects with Cision, commented: “In 2010, through our first Social Journalism Study, we already uncovered that Twitter is the de facto social network for UK journalists. I am very pleased that our follow-up in 2011, the most comprehensive social media study of its kind, allowed us to drill down further and gain greater insight.

“The valid data clearly demonstrates enormous differences in uptake, views and usage of social media among journalists, influenced by what type of media the journalists works for, the size of the organisation as well as the journalist’s seniority. I was surprised to learn how important social media sites are to radio journalists in comparison to newspaper journalists who are least engaged.”

 Other key findings:

  • 90% of UK journalists use social media tools more now compared to three years ago – there is also an increase in the use of search engines (53%)
  • A variety of social media tools are used but most popular are microblogs (70%) information depositories such as Wikipedia (68%) and social networks such as Facebook (67%)
  • 89% of the surveyed journalists most commonly use social media for publishing and distributing their work
  • PR professionals still use traditional traditional forms of communications to contact journalists such as email/fax (97%), press releases (86%) and face-to-face contact (48%) 
  • Radio and online journalists fully embrace social media with 61% actively blogging, whereas newspaper and magazine journalists are active to a lesser degree (51%)
  • The vast majority (85%) of UK journalists used some type of mobile devices in their work, with smartphones being the most popular tool (76%)

Kristine Pole, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Canterbury Christ Church University, added: “Professional practices and values are changing because of social media, which will have consequences on the social, political and economic roles of media in society.

“The speed and extent of the changes are truly remarkable, and one struggles to find many other technological developments which have had similar effect on the profession within such a short period of time. The survey reveals that a great advantage of social media, and a reason for its popularity, is its flexibility and diversity of its potential use.”

A detailed summary of the 2011 Social Journalism Study can be viewed on the Cision website in their PR resources area <

Notes to Editor

2011 Social Journalism Study

  • Cision Europe and Canterbury Christ Church University conducted the survey about the uses and perceptions of social media among journalists in four European countries – United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Finland. Respondents were taken from Cision’s media database of more than 1.5 million influencers globally. Results are based on 667 complete replies from UK journalists collected between June 8 and July 15 , 2011. The statistical analysis, based on a 95% confidence interval, examined the differences and similarities between sub-populations of respondents.
  •  The survey was designed to enhance the media industry’s understanding of social media uptake and the impact of social media technologies and processes on journalists’ work. Cision conducts this survey on an annual basis to continue to inform on best practices within the PR and communications fields and to deepen the industry’s understanding of how journalists and professional communicators use and value social media and other resources.
  • Results of the European study will be published shortly. For more information about the UK and European surveys, please contact Lucy Griffin at 

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, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received 'outstanding' grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University's primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.


  • Cision is the leading provider of software, services, and tools to the public relations and marketing communications industry. PR and marketing professionals use our products to help manage all aspects of a campaign – 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 AB has offices in Europe, North America and Asia, partners in 125 countries and is quoted on the Nordic Exchange with revenue of SEK 1.1 billion in 2010. For more information, visit




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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00