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How journalists use Twitter

One in two journalists have used Twitter, according to a new survey in Norway. Twitter is used both as a research tool, a source for story ideas and a way to connect to readers.

The survey was done by Norwegian social media consultants Sermo and media monitors Cision. While only 132 journalists took part, it does give an indication as to how journalists in this country are using Twitter.

Here are some highlights:

  • 28 per cent of the journalists had both read micro blogs and shared messages themselves
  • 22 per cent had read messages on Twitter or other micro blogs, but not written any messages
  • 50 per cent had not used Twitter at all

Among the active journalists there are some of the common ways to use Twitter:

  • Research (30 per cent)
  • Getting story ideas (23 per cent)
  • Find out what micro blogs are (28 per cent)
  • Get feedback from readers (12 per cent)
  • Get in contact with sources and do interviews (13 per cent)
  • Promotion and branding (17 per cent)
  • Building network with other journalists (15 per cent)
  • Private use (29 per cent)

Obviously it is still a far way to go before the majority of journalists realize what a great tool Twitter can be for them. Yet I am actually positively surprised that so many have tried it out.

On a more negative note the numbers seem to indicate that journalists don’t really look at this as a tool for communication and collaboration with readers. That’s a pity and proves that there is a huge potential for improvement.

For more information about the survey you may discuss it on Twitter with some of Sermo’s employees: @meriksen, @frjohnsen or @ingeborgv

I have earlier blogged a presentation I gave about Twitter as a tool for journalism. The presentation was given for news reporters at the Norwegian news site Aftenposten.no in February. Ideally I should have updated it with changes that have taken place during the last few months. Yet I hope you still may find it useful:

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About the author: Experienced media manager and journalist. Enthusiastic about digital media – and eager amateur photographer. Currently Chief Communications Officer at Schibsted Tech Polska in Krakow, Poland.

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