The Society for New Communications Research and Middleberg Communications Announce Results of the 3rd Annual Survey of Media in the Wired World

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Journalists’ use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs and company websites to assist in reporting surges from 2009/2010 study.

Today, media organizations and journalists also must serve as curators of content, are looked to to drive conversations, and expected to provide information to keep the conversation going even after the story has been published.

Today, the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) and Middleberg Communications announced the results of the 3rd Annual Survey of the Media in the Wired World led by SNCR Senior Fellow Don Middleberg and Jen McClure, president of the Society for New Communications Research. The study, supported by quantitative data gathered from 200 journalists, examined the effects and impact of social media, new media and communication technologies on modern journalism.

The study was released in a keynote address given today by Ms. McClure and Mr. Middleberg before the PRSA Digital Impact Conference.

The goals of the study were to:

  • Determine how and why journalists use new media and communications tools
  • Examine the frequency of use, preference for, and assess the value journalists place on these new tools and technologies
  • Measure the impact new media and communications tools have on the way journalists work and solicit feedback on the perceptions journalists hold regarding the current trends in journalism

Of the 200 journalists surveyed, 90% were based in the U.S., 67% identified themselves to be either reporters or editors and most journalists’ surveyed worked in one of the following outlets: newspaper, radio, or television.

Key findings include:

  • 75% of journalists use Facebook as a tool to assist in reporting, a 6% increase from 2010 study.
  • 69% of journalists use Twitter as a tool to assist in reporting, a 21% increase from 2010 study.
  • 68% of journalists believe that reliance on social media has increased significantly.
  • 95% of journalists believe that social media can be a reliable tool for sourcing stories.
  • 69% of journalists use mobile technology to search, use social networking apps, and capture videos and pictures for reporting.

Another goal of the study was to provide insights as to how public relations professional can understand these growing changes in modern journalism and how they can provide more value to the journalistic community.

Although social media is changing the profession of journalism by giving journalists new tools to assist with reporting, many journalists still prefer traditional communication and relationship building: 53% still prefer receiving emails and 34% still prefer receiving information via phone. Conversely, one 1% of respondents stated that they would like to be contacted via Twitter or a direct message via a social network.

According to one survey respondent, “New media aren't ending journalism, but they are changing it. Journalists should no longer expect to be the sole source of information, but rather a guide and curator of content from multiple sources. Journalists will need to develop skills to tend stories long after the ‘deadline’ has passed, since updates are ongoing . . .”

“This year’s study shows that journalists are increasingly using social media in their research, story development and reporting,” stated Jen McClure. “Social media tools and technologies are being used by journalists to monitor issues, stories and content even after a story has been published. The publication of the story is no longer the end result. Today, media organizations and journalists also must serve as curators of content, are looked to to drive conversations, and expected to provide information to keep the conversation going even after the story has been published.”

“This study provided some very important findings for those of us in public relations,” Don Middleberg adds. “It is interesting to see that mobile technology is used as a tool to aid reporting and that journalists are using it to help generate content on the go. Twitter usage is also increasing dramatically. What it all boils down to is that journalists are communicating in a variety of channels. It is incumbent upon those of us in public relations to know each channel intimately so that we have increased communications enhanced by technology and social media.”

For full survey results, visit http://www.slideshare.net/sncr/how-are-media-journalism-evolving.

About Middleberg Communications
Middleberg Communications is a full-service, independently owned public relations agency with specialized expertise in the consumer, corporate and financial services, media, and technology markets. The agency focuses on delivering tangible results that help clients grow their businesses. Hallmarks of the firm are smart, creative strategic thinking; targeted media relations; and unbridled enthusiasm for clients' business goals, all supported by good old-fashioned hard work. For more information, visit http://www.middlebergcommunications.com.

About the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)
The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank dedicated to the advanced study of new communications tools, technologies and emerging modes of communication, and their effect on traditional media, professional communications, business, culture and society. For more information about the Society for New Communications Research, visit http://www.sncr.org.

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