Home » Cision Releases Global Study on Social Media’s Impact on Journalism

Cision Releases Global Study on Social Media’s Impact on Journalism

by | Jul 22, 2015

Cision has released its annual Global Social Journalism Study, conducted in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University. The international report analyzes how journalists across six countries – United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Australia – use social media to improve productivity and better communicate with PR professionals.

Findings from Cision’s 2015 Social Journalism Study underscore the industry’s increased usage on social media, and show a noticeable maturation in journalists’ reliance on social media. Key findings from the survey include:

  • More than half (51 percent) of journalists report they would be unable to do their job without social media.
  • Fifty-seven percent of journalists agree that social media has improved their productivity.
  • Sixty-seven percent of journalists are spending up to two hours a day on social media, up from 38 percent in 2012.
  • Twitter and Facebook are the most widely used social platforms among journalists, but their levels of popularity vary among the countries surveyed.
  • U.S. and U.K. journalists rely on social media for publishing and promoting their own content, while the other countries cite sourcing as their top reason for usage.
  • The majority of journalists, including 58 percent of U.S. journalists, express data security and privacy concerns as a result of increased social media use.
  • Journalists in English-speaking countries are more interactive and create more social media content than those in non-English speaking countries.

“This data confirms the mission-critical nature of social media and its ever-growing popularity for journalism,” said Cision Vice President, Media Research Valerie Lopez. “Whether it’s used to improve research, streamline communication with potential sources, or further develop story ideas, social media has clearly become integral to journalists’ daily work and responsibilities.”

The study also examined the evolving relationship between PR practitioners and journalists, showing a favorable change in communication practices. PR professionals are increasingly communicating with journalists through social media, with 23 percent pitching stories on social platforms, a 28 percent year-over-year increase.

This shift matches the changing preferences of reporters. Other key findings include:

  • U.S. journalists list PR contacts as their second most important source for information, the first being expert sources.
  • The majority of reporters, including 58 percent of U.S. journalists, are happy with their relationships with PR practitioners.
  • U.S. journalists’ top three methods of contact include email (84 percent), social media (33 percent) and telephone (15 percent).

The full report and infographic can be read here.

This study was based on more than 3,000 responses from journalists and media professionals, with respondents sourced from Cision’s media database of more than 1.6 million influencers globally. Throughout the survey, the term “journalist” is used to include all media professionals (e.g. reporters, researchers, editors, etc.) who took part.

About the Author

Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey A. Davis, APR has more than 25 years of news media and national public relations experience and heads J. Davis Public Relations, LLC, a PR and social media consultancy. A three-time PRSA Maryland president, he serves as Maryland regional editor for the Capitol Communicator and is co-founder of Podville Media in D.C. where he co-hosted the "Practically Social" podcast. Jeff is the regional representative of the national Public Relations Consultants Group (PRCG). He began his career as a reporter at daily newspapers in Ohio, New Jersey and at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.


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