Social media shakes up traditional newsrooms

9 July 2012 - Social and online media is dramatically changing the way newsrooms operate, killing the traditional deadline and creating “rolling deadlines” catering to “need-it-now” audiences, new research has revealed.

The BBS Communications Group 2012 Media Survey sought to understand today’s newsrooms and how traditional, online and social media environments were interacting.

BBS Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Lady Jane Edwards said the survey found almost 90 per cent of journalists reported their daily operations being impacted by the rise of online news and social media.

“Today, you are no longer simply a print journalist, a television journalist or a radio journalist, but a multi-faceted journalist producing written, audio and visual materials for a range of mediums,” she said.

“Individual journalists are increasingly being required to operate a Facebook and Twitter account to both disseminate news and promote their outlet.”

“Positively, this means a single journalist may be an avenue for coverage across multiple platforms. But on the other hand it also means a negative story may have a much stronger impact as it is splashed across various mediums.”

The survey found that stories produced by print journalists were also likely to appear online (91%), as well as on Facebook (54.3%) and Twitter (48.6%). Likewise, stories produced by television journalists are likely to appear on Twitter (68.8%), Facebook (43.8%) and YouTube (25%).

Journalists also nominated Australian and US elections, the economy and the environment as the top three issues they thought would dominate headlines this year.

BBS Director Matthew Hart said online news and social media had killed the traditional deadline and created “rolling deadlines” as journalists were under more pressure to get their story online as soon as it was finished.

“Perhaps as a result of this increased pressure, the survey found it was now common practice for journalists to use story ideas, content and quotes from an organisation’s Twitter or Facebook page, with 88 per cent of journalists saying they have sourced a story idea or content from social media,” he said.

Facebook (66.7%), Twitter (63.3%) and blogs (41.7%) were cited as the most commonly-used social media to source content.

“Individual radio and online journalists also said they were also more likely to work on five or more stories a day, reflecting the fluidity of their news cycle, the volume of news space to be filled and an ever-increasing ‘need-it-now’ audience,” Mr Hart said.

BBS has conducted an annual survey of journalists working in print, television, radio and online media since 2003.

This year’s survey interviewed 61 print, radio, online and television journalists from metropolitan, regional and industry media across Australia in a bid to understand how journalists source and research their news stories, and how organisations could best meet their needs.

BBS Communications Group is a national Brisbane-based communications consultancy operating across media relations, corporate communications, community engagement, investor relations and digital media.

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Comments on this article

  • Shakeel Posted at 15th Jan 13 12:35 PM

    Cool! That's a clever way of looking at it!

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