Dec 10, 2010

PR Newswire China Survey of Social Media Use by Chinese Journalists

Social media is having the same impact on journalists in China that it is having in the rest of the world, changing the way they source stories, expanding and fragmenting the information available to them and raising questions about the future of traditional media.

A recent survey conducted by PR Newswire China, the first of its kind in that country, included 2,503 Chinese journalists who work for print and broadcast media as well as online publications.

Sixty percent of the journalists said they have used social media to obtain news leads or to arrange an interview.  Forty-eight percent indicated that they regularly use microblogs.

According to Ji Yongqing, a well-know Chinese columnist and former chief reporter for CEO&CIO Magazine, “Social media channels have revolutionized the work of journalists.  In the past, journalists were often the first to discover and publish new information, and now, social media has taken over this role.”

“What I use most frequently these days, and what seems to me to be the most game-changing and uniquely valuable of all, are microblogs,” said Liu Jia, senior reporter for China Internet Weekly.

The most frequently cited microblog platform was Sina, which 78% of the surveyed journalists said they use most frequently.  This was well ahead of the nearest competitor, Tencent microblogs which was identified as the most frequently used by 24%.

Over 90% of the journalists surveyed said they believe news leads originating from social media have some value.

While use of social media has grown substantially it still trails some of the traditional methods used by journalists to search for news leads.  Face-to-face or peer communication is used more than any other information gathering method, cited by more than 75% of the respondents.  The other most commonly used tactics for identifying leads were the use of portal or industry Web sites and the use of search engines.

Almost half of the respondents agreed that new media poses a fairly large threat to traditional media.  But a similar number indicated that while new media has a definite influence on traditional media, the two complement each other.

Authored by Ken Dowell, executive vice president, PR Newswire.


Two reports that offer further insight into global social media use were published yesterday, and they offer interesting insight.

Facebook — 2010 Memology: Top Status Trends of the Year: A round-up of top status trends over the year reveals numerous “world moments.”

The Pew Research Center —Global Publics Embrace Social Networking: Reveals that worldwide, people who are using the internet are using it for social networking.

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