business journalists’ use of social media

There are a lot of great surveys about journalists’ use of specific social media tools, and some of social media overall. To add to the demographic and trend use data out there, here are some recent numbers looking at business journalists’ use of all social media in their reporting collected using good ole academic rigor. It’s a descriptives piece so don’t expect too much, but we have more theoretical stuff coming out soon.

Ruthann Weaver Lariscy, Elizabeth Johnson Avery, Kaye D. Sweetser, & Pauline Howes (2009). An examination of the role of online social media in journalists’ source mix [pdf]. Public Relations Review, 35, 314-316.

Using telephone surveys of business/financial journalists in the United States (n=200), this research investigates the agenda-building role of social media content in journalists’ work.  Understanding that more non-public relations content from user-generated and social network sites, like YouTube and Twitter, are fast becoming resources for journalists to get story ideas, break scandals, and find sources, we began this scholarly work to determine the frequency of such uses of social media.  Overall, findings indicate very little use of social media by these business journalists. Results and implications for public relations practitioners are discussed in detail.

This work was funded by a grant from the Public Relations Society of America Foundation.

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