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Survey reveals how journalists engage with social media


As the web has truly taken off, there has been a large number of professions impacted in one way, shape or form.  One of the most affected has been that of journalists.

We’re now living in an age when blogging has mushroomed, and the spread of smartphones has turned the masses into citizen (unpaid) journalists.  The rise of social media has also created fresh demands, both on journalists and the publications that hire them.

How is the profession adapting?  Back in 2013 I looked at a study that was exploring just how active journalists were on social media.

Rather than being concerned about the digital erosion of their profession, the journalists seemed overwhelmingly positive about all things web, in the English speaking world at least.  For instance 59% of journalists had Twitter accounts, although this dropped to 33% in Germany.

How have things changed since then?  Well, a recent study from the journalism social network MuckRack set out to find out.

The study set out to explore how journalists were interacting with social media and the rapidly changing landscape of news.

For instance, with social media a constant factor in our lives, journalists were asked what it was that made content particularly ‘viral’. Interestingly, the most common attribute was that the story contained an image of some kind, with the next most popular attribute that the story in some way piggybacked on an already trending topic.

The presence of social media was increasingly being felt by the industry, with over 75 percent of respondents revealing that they felt under pressure to write content that will be shared on social networks.

In terms of social media usage, Twitter was the undisputed king, with the vast majority of journalists checking in several times per day, with their usage designed to boost both their own brand and that of their profession.

As far as insights go into the life of a modern journalist, the study is rather light, but the fact that images seem to be incredibly important is something that both professional and amateur journalists can take something from.

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