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Citizens Journalism Influences Mainstream Reporting, Survey Reveals

Citizens Journalism Influences Mainstream Reporting, Survey Reveals

Media news stories are becoming increasingly influenced by the growing band of ‘citizen journalists’, according to Four Broadgate’s Digital Trends survey, the only one of its kind covering the UK’s leading financial journalists.

Seventy per cent of financial journalists say their editorial views are affected by online comments on their stories or blogs from readers.

Journalists’ use of digital platforms and news gathering techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated.  Almost four in ten are now active on Twitter, with 70% of financial journalists who use Twitter finding it invaluable to keep abreast of developments in their field – almost 60% using it to actively search for news. However, many still do not wish to receive pitches from PRs through Twitter.

The survey also reveals that three quarters of financial journalists now class themselves as multimedia journalists; it seems their very job description and the way their news stories are shaped is unrecognisable compared to just a few years ago.

Key findings from Four Broadgate’s Digital trends Survey 2010 include:

– One in five spend at least 15 minutes a day on Twitter with a small minority saying they spend more than two hours a day on the site.
– 80% of financial journalists use search engines in their work more than five times a day, with Search Engine Optimisation playing a greater role in their practices and influencing research.
– Email newsletters are rising in importance as a news source. Last year’s Digital Trends survey revealed that just over half used them regularly, but this has risen to over six in ten journalists.
– Almost three quarters of journalists say their editorial views are affected to some extent by reader feedback and online comments.
– Half of all journalists complain that the websites of financial services companies are not easy to navigate or lack the information that they need. The main gripe is that press releases are not updated frequently enough.
– When asked to name the best financial services website, journalists named the Financial Services Authority as the winner.

Sarah Evans-Toyne, head of digital at Four Broadgate says: “The financial services industry has been a slow adopter of digital communications techniques, largely because of regulatory concerns. However, our 2010 Digital Trends Survey supports the emerging evidence that digital channels are becoming increasingly powerful and persuasive.  PR advisers need to adapt to the changes in the communications landscape to provide information in the way that suits the needs of most journalists.”

“We operate in a world of global media and digital channels spread news around the world in minutes, not hours. A local crisis can quickly take on international proportions so PRs need to monitor the same digital sources as the media to make sure they stay ahead of the game.”

Please click here for a full copy of the report.

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