Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jounalists Use Social Media - But Don't Trust It

Journalists are increasingly using blogs, social networking sites and even microblogging sites like Twitter for information gathering – but they have grave reservations about their trustworthiness.

These findings come from a new study by George Washington University (Don Bates) and Cision software company. It surveyed 371 journalists working for magazines, newspapers and Web sites and found that they have collectively hit a “tipping point” in their reliance on social media. Some key results:

Nearly 90% use blogs in their research, and 96% use corporate Web sites.
About two-thirds use social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, especially those who write for the Web; for magazine writers, the number is 58%.
Nearly half the print reporters use microblogging sites, as do 69% of Website writers. Over 10% of the print reporters say they use sites like Twitter “all the time.”
The second most popular online research site is Wikipedia, cited by 61% (compared to 100% for Google).

Despite their use of social media, 84% believe it is less reliable than traditional media.

Over 85% say they use information from P.R. professionals as much as or more than they did five years ago, especially for access to sources and answers to questions.

- Potomac Communications Group

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