Global media intelligence company Cision released Monday its 2016 Social Journalism Study, conducted with Canterbury Christ Church University.
The report is the latest in a series that shows the changes in how journalists and media professionals use social media in their work.
Surveyed journalists viewed social media as extremely important – 78% of respondents felt that they are more engaged with their audience because of social media, and nearly half went as far as to say they could not work without it.
The respondents felt that social media was most valuable for publishing and promoting content, as well as interacting with their audiences.
However, fewer journalists indicated that they use social media for source gathering – only 35% make use of user generated content regularly, and just 29% said that they intend to use crowdsourcing and user generated content more in the future, making relationship-building through social media a cornerstone of media and influencer relations.
“These findings make it clear that social media is infused into the daily routines of journalists, underscoring the importance and integration of content distribution and influencer communications within the media landscape,” said Ken Wincko, Cision’s senior VP of Marketing.
“Given the growing impact of expert commentary in driving buyer behavior, it’s critical to uncover and share industry trends and insights that enable marketers and communicators to collaborate intimately with members of the media.”
The study also highlighted international differences in how journalists utilize social media. While the majority of respondents in each country believe social media has fundamentally changed their role as a journalist, those in Germany and Canada reported the highest daily use of social media for work, while France reported the least.
Journalists in the U.S. and Canada are the most confident users of social media, while their counterparts in Finland and Sweden are the least assured users of social in a work context.
Respondents were gathered from Cision and Gorkana’s media database of more than 1.5 million influencers globally. A full report on the findings as well as takeaways for communications professionals can be viewed here.