More journalists now have over 500 followers on their preferred social network than in 2012, according to the UK Social Journalism Study 2013.
The results reveal that 62% of journalists now have more than 500 followers, compared with just 48% in 2012. At the other end of the scale, fewer journalists have no followers, with only 6% in 2013 compared to 8% in 2012 (presumably these journalists are mostly Observers).
The Social Journalism Study 2013 also revealed that 92% of UK journalists are now on Twitter and 96% are using social media on a daily basis.
Twitter claims to have 15m active users in the UK, though this doesn’t take into account individuals with multiple accounts. How many of you look after more than one handle? (I have at least two). That said, with such a high percentage of journalists on Twitter, its reputation within the media sphere will surely only be strengthened.
While stories that break or spread on Twitter initially don’t reach a majority of the population, media organisations are quick to repurpose them and publish through their traditional outlets. Twitter has, therefore, become a go-to source for media organisations; the Social Journalism Study revealed that 89% of journalists now use social media to source stories.
Journalists are taking advantage of this and embodying, as individuals, the role of a traditional news outlet – providing news, comment and analysis on current affairs. Again the study reflects this with 91% of journalists in 2013 using social media to publish and promote their work (and therefore themselves), compared to 81% in 2012.
The rise in followers is indicative of journalists’ position as the gatekeepers of news information on the internet. With rises across all the areas social media is used by journalists for, it is cementing its place in modern media and is likely to continue to grow in importance and dominance.