ING’s News Division recently conducted a study on the impact of social media on news and journalism and the results are quite astounding.
It’s important to note that ING is based in the Netherlands and there is a heavy focus on Dutch journalism. But this is really in relation to where Dutch journalists stand in comparison to those in the USA and UK.
For better or worse, social media has forced its way into journalism and has become a news source not only for the general public, but for journalists as well.
While social media is generally seen as unreliable by nearly a third of journalists (32%), it still serves as a main news source for roughly 50% of journalists. Fact checking has also decreased since the emergence of social media. This is corroborated by both the amount of journalists (80% ) that have published without checking facts first, as well as PR professionals, more than half of which claim to be contacted less often for fact checking purposes.
These statistics are alarming but also make sense when you take into account the modern business model. Journalism, and content in general, is now driven more than ever by an increasing need for views and clicks.
It doesn’t look like social media in journalism is going away any time soon. In fact, according to this infographic it will only increase more and more. The fact that Dutch journalists don’t use social media as often as their counterparts in the USA and UK is labeled as “lagging.”
As the trend continues, individuals entering the world of broadcast journalism will have to be prepared to fight an internal battle between publishing content quickly to get links and publishing content that is factually accurate.
Check out ING’s “Impact of Social Media on News” infographic below: