A study of over 500 journalists from 14 countries has found that 51% of journalists use twitter to source news stories, provided the source was trusted.
Survey respondents were polled in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US, in the Global Digital Journalism Study 2013, the sixth annual report into digital media in journalism.
It found that 39% of journalists agreed their title is a “digital-first” publication, measured in unique user traffic. This method of digital success has increased by 68% in the US and 86% in Canada.
Social media use may be reversing the trend observed by Nick Davies in Flat Earth News in 2007, which highlighted the percentage of news that comprised of repackaged press releases. The report described a “huge shift away from pre-packaged stories in the form of press releases,” citing that only 7% of journalists say press releases are their first source for news. Since last year, the use of corporate spokespersons as sources has dropped from 24% to 16% this year.
In 2007, Davies said, following research undertaken by Cardiff University into 2207 news stories published across two weeks: “60 per cent of these quality-print stories consisted wholly or mainly of wire copy and/or PR material, and a further 20 per cent contained clear elements of wire copy and/or PR to which more or less other material had been added.”
“With 8 per cent of the stories, they were unable to be sure about their source. That left only 12 per cent of stories where the researchers could say that all the material was generated by the reporters themselves.”
The report’s findings suggest digital journalism may be reversing that dynamic.
Journalist notepad image via Shutterstock