Digital journalism study infographic

Part of an infographic produced to accompany the report

A study of more than 600 journalists across the world found that more than half source and verify news stories using known sources on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Weibo. The research found 75 per cent of journalists in the UK do so.

The annual Oriella Digital Journalism Study, which is carried out by Brands2Life with Oriella PR Network partners and surveys journalists across 16 countries, found the use of social media in the gathering of news "is now a majority pursuit" when working with known sources on such platforms.

More than half, 53 per cent, of journalists use "microblog updates" from known sources, and in the UK alone this figure rises to 75 per cent.

But the report adds that when sources are "unfamiliar" the worldwide figure "roughly halves" to 26 per cent, and fell by round a third to 53 per cent in the UK.

The report says "the study indicates reliance on social media falls between 50 per cent and 80 per cent where the source is unknown or unfamiliar".

A similar pattern was found in the use of blogs as news sources, with 44 per cent of journalists said to use blogs from known sources, halving to 22 per cent when blogs were not as well known.

According to the report "this is a reversal of the picture in 2011, when 43 per cent of respondents said they would source news from blogs they did not know, and only 30 per cent said they relied on familiar sources".

As well as social media, the report also highlights "the growing importance" of mobile devices to publisher business models with a "sustained growth of mobile apps".

"The proportion of journalists saying their titles now have apps has experienced continued growth over the past three years and now one publication in four has a mobile app."

In the UK this figure was much higher, with 63 per cent of respondents saying their publication had an app, compared to 35 per cent in 2011.

As for social media presence worldwide 52 per cent of respondents said their titles had Facebook pages and 46 per cent had Twitter accounts.

In the UK, 82 per cent of journalists who responded that their title had a Twitter account and 76 per cent said the publication had a Facebook page.

Other key findings:
  • 46 per cent of UK respondents said 80 per cent or more of their online output was new and not replicated content from offline publication
  • Operation of discussion boards by publications sees fall from 37 per cent of journalists citing active operation in 2008 to 26 per cent this year
  • 63 per cent of UK journalists said titles publish video externally sourced while 69 per cent said titles produce in-house video

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