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Study: Journalist views on the new media differ

By Khalid Magram     May 22, 2008 in Internet
Journalists' perceptions with social media and blogs differ based on their beat. That is one of the findings from the study released by Brodeur, and Marketwire,
Study surveyed journalists from five different beats - politics, lifestyle, technology, healthcare, and travel.
According to executive vice president of Brodeur Strategies Jerry Johnson, over half of reporters surveyed said they spent more than an hour per day with online sources and blogs. At the same time, a majority of these same reporters across all beats said blogs and social media were having a negative impact on the quality and accuracy of reporting.
"The results suggest that journalists have a love/hate relationship with new media," Johnson said.
The survey based on five separate online surveys of reporters included 451 interviews across all five reporting areas - an average of 90 reporter interviews per "beat."
Well over two-thirds of political reporters and half of lifestyle reporters felt that social media had a negative impact on the tone of coverage in their area.
Health care, travel, and technology reporters were more likely to say that social media had a net positive impact on the tone of coverage in their area.
Lifestyle reporters were also the most critical of social media's impact on the quality and accuracy of reporting in their field.
Over two-thirds 67 per cent of lifestyle reporters said that social media was having a negative impact on the accuracy of reporting in their area. About the same percentage 64 per cent said it was having a negative impact on the quality of lifestyle reporting.
"Quality of reporting is a subjective measure," explained Johnson. "The survey highlights the conflicting influence of social media on journalism.
On the one hand, it has been a positive force in getting divergent views out quickly. On the other hand there are many journalists who think that has had a negative impact on the quality or tone of overall coverage in their area, he added.
"The results of this study absolutely reflect what we see with the thousands of journalists who tap into Marketwire's online feeds for news and information," said Jessica Strange, Marketwire's executive director of media relations.
The survey also asked reporters to rank some of the most popular social media news sites in their respective field. Overall, the survey results suggested that in areas such as politics and technology, a handful of online news sites are emerging as key media sources.
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