Most journalists said that social media were important or somewhat important for reporting and producing the stories they wrote.
Importance of Social Media to Journalists (% of Respondents)
Degree of Importance
% of Respondents
Neither Important nor Unimportant
Source: Cision Social Media Study, October 2009
The groups placing the highest levels of importance on social media for reporting and producing stories were journalists who spend most of their professional time writing for Websites . Those at Newspapers and Magazines reported this less often. The differences between Magazine journalists and Website journalists is statistically significant.
While the results demonstrate the fast growth of social media as a well-used source of information for mainstream journalists, the survey also made it clear that reporters and editors are acutely aware of the need to verify information they get from social media.
Heidi Sullivan, Vice President of Research for Cision, says "Mainstream media have hit a tipping point in
their reliance on social media for their research and reporting...however... it is not replacing editors' and reporters' reliance on primary sources, fact-checking and other traditional best
practices in journalism."
According to the survey, most journalists turn to public relations professionals for assistance in their primary research:
Don Bates, founding director of the GWU Strategic Public Relations program, cautions that, though "Social media provides a wealth of new information for journalists... getting the story right is as important as ever... PR professionals... have a responsibility... to ensure the information they provide journalists is accurate and timely... "
For a copy of the complete survey results, please go here.