The fourth annual Social Journalism Study, conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University, is charting the changes of how journalists and media professionals use social media for their work and in their communication with PR professionals.

This year, there remains no doubt that social is part of the journalists’ toolkit in their everyday work for a range of different journalistic tasks. However, the results show a concentration of time and focus on social media, so rather than using a large range of tools journalists are choosing to focus on specific tools, namely Facebook and Twitter, whilst experimenting on a much smaller scale with more bespoke tools for particular activities. Swedish journalists feel social media has helped their productivity but very few (15%) agree this has decreased their workload.

Journalists mainly use social media for sourcing stories and information but they continue to rely on traditional sources such as experts and other journalists (whether through social media or not), suggesting they are discerning social media users, applying it where it supports their work, but not adopting it at the cost of their credibility. In addition, Swedish journalists are using social media to monitor their work and respond where necessary. The relationship with PR professionals could be improved especially around the quality of their contribution to journalists’ work and the reliability of information. Email and newswires remain the main communication channels between PR professionals and journalists, and despite the widespread use of social media, journalists want to see less contact via social media from PR professionals.

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