A week ago I wrote a post on how social media is replacing traditional journalism as a news source and the feedback was interesting to say the least. When I look deeper at how mobile and social media drive news consumption the information begins to add up. A recent article points out the growing trend of digital media in newsrooms with their fifth annual Oriella Digital Journalism Study:
The data from this year’s study, done with our partners in the Oriella PR Network, struck us in a few different ways. First of all, a far wider range of content assets are being used by more publications. All kinds of media – from national newspapers to lifestyle titles and B2B media – are using content such as infographics, videos and blogs to enhance their coverage.
Particularly striking is the adoption of video, which has shot up from 20 percent in 2011 to over 36 percent today on a worldwide basis. Closer to home, 69 percent of the journalists we spoke to said their publications published video produced video in-house.
Social media aren’t just shaping the way publications package and deliver their stories. They’re having a huge impact on the way newsgathering is carried out. Our study suggests that enthusiasm for ‘open source’ journalism has been tempered a little, while reliable contacts are more valued than ever.
More than half of our respondents (55 percent) said they use microblogs to source new stories, and 44 percent use blogs in the same way – but only when the source behind it is known or trusted by them. For unknown sources, reliance on social media roughly halves – falling to 26 percent for microblogs and 22 percent for blogs. However, 63 percent of respondents would source stories from industry insiders.
This preference for the ‘trusted source’ is also supported by where journalists say they go as their first point of call for news stories. In 2011, the press release in-tray was the top starting point; this year, it had fallen to third place. Spokespeople have become the most valued starting point for news stories, by a comfortable margin.
These trends are telling of the expectations media (and other influencers) have of brands today. Journalists won’t accept ‘pre-packed’ news from brands (and their agencies) in the form of releases, and they are looking for far more variety in the kinds of stories brands talk about, and the way they are told. And, they expect brands to be properly engaged with the relevant social networks: not as a box-ticking exercise driven by the PR department, but a genuine engagement at all levels of the business.