Journalists Slow to Adopt Social Media

Deliver this pitch to the newspaper. Pronto!

Deliver this pitch to the newspaper. Pronto!

Why aren’t more journalists on the cutting-edge of communications?

Newspapers and magazines have been slow to recognize the power of the web (and we now understand the consequences of that) and now we have more evidence that journalists – professional communicators – continue to lag behind in the latest developments in, well, communications.

PR Week and PR Newswire today announced a survey of more than 2,174 journalists. The survey revealed – to no one’s surprise – that journalists are feeling rather glum these days as newspapers and magazine around the country continue to fall like maple leaves in late October. Journalists are more overworked than ever – having to produce content for print and broadcast as well as for the web.

But the most disturbing part of the report may be about social media adoption. Here are the numbers:

  • 42% do not have Facebook profiles
  • 49% don’t have LinkedIn accounts
  • 78% do not use Twitter
  • 69% have never been pitched through social media
  • 23% have no accounts on any social media service
  • 80% prefer email as the desired contact method (what are the other 20% using? The pony express?)

Granted, these numbers have risen significantly since 2008, according to the survey, but I’d argue they are still low considering what journalists do for a living. This speaks volumes about an industry that continues ignore – at its own peril – the innovations occurring on the web. One would think that professional communicators would be the first to explore, experiment and adopt cutting-edge technology in communications.

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