Use of social media tools by journalists is surging, growing in double-digit percentages in some cases, according to the 2nd Annual Middleberg/SNCR Survey of Media in the Wired World, conducted by the Society for New Communications Research and New York public relations firm Middleberg Communications. The survey found that almost 70 percent of the journalists surveyed are using social networking sites, a 28 percent increase since the results of the 2008 Survey of Media in the Wired World were released.
In addition, 48 percent are using Twitter or other microblogging sites and tools, a 25 percent increase since 2008; 66 percent are reading blogs; 48 percent are viewing videos online; and 25 percent are listening to podcasts.
Attitudes are shifting too: nearly 80 percent of journalists surveyed believe that bloggers have become important opinion-shapers in recent years, and 91 percent of journalists surveyed agree that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism to some extent.
When asked to share their thoughts about how social media is changing the profession of journalism, participating journalists provided a wide range of responses. One respondent answered, "Social media is changing the profession. It has enhanced the dialog between audience and writer and expanded the scope of those who can participate in disseminating news." Another commented, "It is full of peril and promise."
"This study indicates that there is now a large and growing percentage of journalists who view social media and the participation by the public in the journalistic process to be a necessary, and in most cases, positive step in the evolution of journalism," says Jen McClure, founder and president, Society for New Communications Research. "They understand the future of journalism to be a highly participatory, collaborative and dynamic process."
SNCR senior fellow Don Middleberg, founder and CEO of Middleberg Communications, adds, "While companies are increasingly paying more attention to social media for revenue generation, employee productivity and enhanced consumer loyalty, many do not yet understand the true scope and depth of these new communications tools for journalistic usage. As a result, some companies are losing share of voice among journalists to their competitors. Social media presents a new opportunity to communicate and develop relationships with a whole new generation of journalists through these new channels of choice."