Results of an online survey of 480 reporters from 74 large and 63 midsize U.S. daily newspapers suggests that Twitter’s value was significantly tied to the platform’s use for querying followers, conducting research and activities associated with contacting sources. Facebook’s value is tied to its use for querying friends and conducting research.
Arthur D. Santana of the San Diego State University and Toby Hopp of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, found that although newspaper reporters are apt to query their Facebook friends, they are not as inclined to use those friends as sources. Second, they are apt to use Facebook to conduct background research but not to use that research for story ideas.
Newspaper reporters were prone to query their Twitter followers and also use them as sources. They are also inclined to use Twitter to conduct background research but, as in the case of Facebook, not to use that research for story ideas as it relates to professional practice.
The study, however, suggests that many journalists do not necessarily see social media as vital to their day-to-day practices because of its relative newness as well as its perceived untrustworthiness in a social system governed by long-established norms.
To read the full text of the study: http://bit.ly/2iQXjBc
Santana, A. D., & Hopp, T. (2016). Tapping Into a New Stream of (Personal) Data: Assessing Journalists’ Different Use of Social Media. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(2), 383-408.