Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

Summary: Large numbers of journalists continue to hold out against social media and social networks...


The Society For New Communications Research (SNCR) published the 2nd Annual Middleberg/SNCR Survey of Media in the Wired World.

It found that there was a large increase in the number of journalists using social networks, Twitter, reading blogs, watching online video, and listening to podcasts, as part of their work. Those results were expected. But if you look at the survey results from another angle, the findings are shocking. It's unbelievable how many journalists are not doing those things. Take a look:

- More than 30 per cent of journalists do not use social networking sites.

- 52 per cent of journalists don't use Twitter.

- One-third of journalists do not read blogs.

- More than half don't watch videos online.

- 75 percent of journalists do not listen to podcasts.

Yet 91 percent "agree that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism to some extent."

This is extraordinary. I can't imagine not using social media and social networks, blogs, Twitter, etc. My job would be ten times more difficult. Why are so many journalists refusing to use these valuable research tools? It's mind boggling. You'd think it was 2005. This is a luddite mentality. Do they think it will all go away? It won't, but they will. I can't imagine a media organization employing journalists that don't have the skills to use all the resources available to them. [The survey polled 341 journalists.] - - - [Please note: I am a Founding Fellow of SNCR - a think tank based in Palo Alto.]

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser, Collaboration

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  • Results could be interpreted differently...

    namely that only 1/3 of journalists are actually doing their own research for articles rather than "retweeting" what they find elsewhere.
    • RE:Results could be interpreted differently

      Very good point wizard57m! I couldn't agree with you more! I honestly think a lot of the social media stuff has made an entire generation of lazy journalists.
    • As a former reporter...

      I can't overemphasize how much "reporting" is and always has been repeating what someone else has worked to reveal. The one who gets the scoop is then quoted as a source by the rest of the news herd. Modern social media have simply accelerated the process.
    • RE: Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

      Thank you for this!! <a href="">hermes bags</a>
  • A plethora of communication methods

    I use email, read blogs, talk on the phone, have
    a newspaper delivered daily to an e-book . . .
    but after trying to get into Twitter and
    Facebook, I've backed away from these 'social
    media' things. RSS feeds are another thing I've
    never needed. I don't have a Blackberry; I don't
    IM. I Skype a bit with video, but I don't text
    on a cell phone. I belong to some Google Groups
    and have used Wave for certain groups and
    The point is, there are far more ways to
    communicate than there is time in the day.
    People find what works for them. Just because
    one journalist swears by Twitter, hardly makes
    that absolutely necessary when the same
    information can be disseminated and monitored
    twenty different ways.
    And I have to agree with others, blogs and
    Twitter etc have contributed to a proliferation
    of bloggers and Twitters. Everyone is now a
    journalist. That's expanded things and benefited
    everyone in many ways, but it's also contributed
    to a significant lowering of journalist quality,
    writing quality, investigative integrity, etc.
    Sources are not checked, rumours are spread with
    little accountability. Definitely trade offs.
    The serious journalists use a lot of tools. The
    best ones still get on the phone a heck of a
    lot, they actually attend events and conferences
    and even meet the subjects they cover in person.
    Wow, imagine that.
  • RE: Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

    Is there a breakdown of the ages and backgrounds of these journalists -- both those using social media and those not? I'm wondering if there's a generation gap here.
  • Good, then we can hear less about the same thing (NT)

  • Human Nature

    Technology moves very quickly ... but human nature and culture very slowly. I think that is the reason why industrial revolutions take 50-60 years to 'complete'. Until two generations have died off the changes possible by a revolution are not embedded.

    'The Paperless Office', long since mooted, is slowly becoming a reality. However it required the vast majority of the ecosystem to convert to electronic processing and the death of those who were not disposed to change to make it a reality.

    The same is evident in 'the number of people who don't have broadband'. Forget 'em - they'll be dead soon. [No offence to my father intended - may he live to be 100, having never used a PC or mobile phone!]
  • RE: Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

    The exact reason why blogging, tweeting, instant messaging etc. are marginalized and not heavily used as sources or publishing methods by the professional journalist community is not that they are small-minded Luddite resisting progress; but rather because they might be resisting the urge of jumping to conclusions, using unproven sources, forgoing references to sources or regurgitating statistics in fear of tarnishing their reputation and future job prospects.

    The technology is impressive, empowering and a clear sign of things to come but the controls are not all there yet not to mention the mindset and ethics.

    If you wear a robe it does not mean you are a priest. Statistically speaking you are most likely to have just finished showering. Unfortunately, there are a few bound to believe you can work miracles.

    This reporting on statistics is just a little bit like cooking. It was done with preferred taste in mind.
    • Completely agree

      with this post except for one (minor) detail.

      If you have a robe, you *are* a priest, until proven otherwise. If you wear it all day while you tweet and blogpost then you are a bishop.

      And, you have simply to appear on TV's faux news to be a priest even without the robe.

      The ill-informed will always follow the bouncing ball/shiny object and sing along, even with third-hand or further derived, repeated, rumored stories. Real reporters may read them, but they don't "use" them.
  • Not Surprising - Social Media is a joke

    Really.... I mean who gives a $hit about your Twitter feeds? Or your Tweets or anything else

    Who wants to read drivel from the masses?

    Social Media is dumb.
  • It depends on their sources

    It depends on what kind of journalist you are and who your sources are.

    In the first place, depending on social media which is publicly available (which is kinda the point of social media) will not give you a jump on your competition. It's good for background material, which is necessary, but journalists who specialize in one type of reporting generally know the background material for that specialty.

    Finally, in a lot of fields, and in particular politics, the newsmakers simply have not taken advantage of social media themselves. That's slowly changing, but VIPs (e.g., Obama) often have others do their social media for them anyway. Good reporting still depends on a lot of shoe leather, and a good address book. I think most reporters today understand how to use one-on-one technology such as the phone, texting, and email.
  • RE: Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

    Journalists are worse than the provercial used car salesmen. At least the used car salesman knows he's lying to you - journalists think what they're telling you is the truth while it's primarily their own point of view!
    I know this is not a real truism, but I think it is one of the explanations for your "Wow" issue. This, and the fact that social media is mostly useless for learning anything significant. It's really mostly about very inane things.
  • RE: Wow. Survey shows nearly one-third of journalists don't use social media or read blogs

    It could be worse. I had a former publisher who didn't even have a computer in his home, and a dozen years ago, a publisher banned reporters from having individual e-mail and required all e-mail to go through the editor.