Study shows increasing dependence of UK journalists on social media
More than 25% of UK journalists say they cannot work without social media according to the 2012 social journalism study by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University.
Alongside this growing dependence on social media, the study also reveals
concerns from journalists about the impact of social media on productivity and privacy with 16% of respondents claiming that social media will ‘kill journalism’.
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. Sourcing information has overtaken self-promotion as the primary objective of social activity by journalists.
The survey about journalists’ uses and perceptions of, and attitude toward, social media was conducted online, and received more than 769 responses from UK journalists during June and July 2012.
The number of journalists who said they felt social media improved their productivity fell from 49 per cent in 2011 to 39 per cent in 2012. At the same time, the percentage of those who disagreed that social media improved productivity increased from 20 per cent to 34 per cent.
Journalists were also less positive this year about the impact of social media on their relationships with their audience. While in general they think that social media allows greater engagement with their audience, the number who strongly agreed, dropped from 43 per cent to 27 per cent. However, 77.5% said that it allows them to promote themselves and their work better.
23.7% agree that crowd-sourcing improves the quality of journalism, but 40% believe social media is undermining traditional journalistic values like objectivity.
Views on social media are influenced by age, the study shows. 60.3% of journalists under the age of 27 think social media has had a generally positive impact on the profession, compared with just 29.2% of journalists over the age of 45.
The media sector journalists work in also has a more significant impact on their uses and views than other professional factors.