Half of UK journalists can’t live without social media

Cision’s annual social media study finds almost all journalists using social media every day and fears of technology’s threat to the profession receding

LONDON, 07 November, 2013 – Nearly all UK journalists use social media for work on a daily basis, and almost half say they would be unable to work without it, according to latest Social Journalism Study 2013 from Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University.

According to the study, the frequency of social media use among UK journalists has increased for the third year running, as has the diversity of tools used. Twitter is the most important social media tool with 92% of respondents using it regularly for work. The number of journalists using LinkedIn to some extent saw the biggest increase over the last two years, going up from 53% to 83%.

The 2013 study further indicates that journalists use social media for all aspects of their work with publishing and promoting topping the list of their activities (91%) followed by sourcing (89%) and networking (87%). However, email dominates PR practitioners’ communications with journalists, with social media in third place after the telephone, despite journalists stating they would prefer more communication through social media and less by phone.

Respondents were generally positive about the impact of social media on their work, on the relationship with their audience, and on the ways in which they gather information. This view is reflected in the falling number of journalists claiming that social media would lead to the death of their profession. Nonetheless, worries over privacy and big data continued to rise, while online trolling also emerged as an area of concern.

Kester Ford, head of product and marketing for Cision UK said: ‘We can see from the study that journalists are using more social media platforms for a wider variety of purposes than ever before, including sourcing information, engaging with readers, communicating with PR practitioners, and, especially, for self-publishing and promotion of content.’

Dr Ágnes Gulyás, reader, Department of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University said: ‘UK journalists are among the most active social media users in the world. Interestingly, their social media use is still expanding while in some countries, such as the US or France, we see some areas of social media use stagnating. Our study this year also revealed that there is an increasing segmentation of social media users in the UK into heavy users on one end and more passive and low level users on the other.

Kristine Pole, programme director in marketing at Canterbury Christ Church University, added: ‘Journalists are clearly avid users of social media and the level of use is nearing saturation for most purposes, with 80% agreeing that they are more engaged with their audience due to social media. However, journalists are showing some concerns about whether there are productivity gains – 25% stated it hasn’t increased their productivity - hinting that questions remain whether social media will really help journalists in their work.’

Download the full version of the 2013 Social Journalism Study.

About the survey

Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University conducted an online survey about the use of, and attitudes toward, social media among journalists. Respondents were taken from Cision’s global media database. This year’s study received over 3,000 responses from journalists in 11 different countries: UK, US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Throughout the survey the term ‘journalist’ is used to include other media professionals e.g. researchers, editors etc. The statistical analysis, based on a 95% confidence interval, examined the differences and similarities between sub-populations of respondents. The types of professional social media users were developed using cluster analysis.

The survey is designed to enhance the media industry’s understanding of social media uptake and the impact of social media technologies and processes on journalists’ work. Cision conducts this survey on an annual basis to continue to inform on best practices within the PR and communications field and to deepen the industry’s understanding of how journalists and professional communicators use and value social media and other resources. The research examined the patterns of social media usage of journalists, which professional tasks they use social media for and how they view the impact of social media on journalistic practices and professional values.

About Cision

Cision is the leading provider of software, services, and tools to the public relations and marketing communications industry.PR and marketing professionals use our products to help manage all aspects of a campaign – from identifying key media and influencers to connecting with audiences, monitoring traditional and social media, and analysing outcomes. Journalists, bloggers and other influencers use Cision’s tools to research story ideas, track trends and maintain their public profiles. Cision AB has offices in Europe, North America and Asia, partners in 125 countries and is quoted on the Nordic Exchange with revenue of SEK 1 billion in 2011.

Visit: cision.com/ukCall: 0800 358 3110 (From outside the UK: (+44) 0 207 689 1160)

Email: info.uk@cision.com

About Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services. With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise. 93% of our recent UK undergraduates were in employment of further study six months after completing their studies. Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, the University is also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research.

Visit: www.canterbury.ac.uk

For more information about the survey, please contact:

Kester Ford, Head of Product and Marketing, Cision UK kester.ford@cision.com

Dr Ágnes Gulyás, Principal Lecturer, Department of Media, Art and Design, Canterbury Christ Church Universityagnes.gulyas@canterbury.ac.uk

Kristine Pole, Senior Lecturer Marketing, Business School, Canterbury Christ Church Universitykristine.pole@canterbury.ac.uk

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Quotes

We can see from the study that journalists are using more social media platforms for a wider variety of purposes than ever before, including sourcing information, engaging with readers, communicating with PR practitioners, and, especially, for self-publishing and promotion of content
Kester Ford, Head of Product and Marketing, Cision UK