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Journalists and Social Media

Journalists and Social Media

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Published by: Saladeprensa.org on Feb 06, 2012
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02/06/2012

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Journalists were asked what they thought the main barriers to using social media are
in their work and whether there are any specific infrastructure barriers.

Nearly all the journalists interviewed did not experience significant
infrastructure barriers.

“There are no barriers; you can always have access to everything anytime
you want. It is up to you how to use them [social media].” (Male, private TV
journalist, EL)

A minority of journalists would like to have smartphones and regarded not having
them as a barrier to access. (BE, CY, PL)

“Not being able to have a mobile phone which has internet access, email
access or even an iPad where at any time you can find the information you
need and transmit it...the employer should not be forced to provide these
services to you but he should at least get special deals from providers for
this.” (Male, public TV journalist, CY)

Other infrastructure barriers related to low internet connection speed, especially
when journalists are out in the field (CZ, FI, ES), but also occasionally in the office
(MT). Internet connection fees and the high price of devices were also mentioned in
one instance (MT).

As with infrastructure, the majority of journalists did not report any other
significant barriers
.

Journalists and Social Media – Aggregate Report

53

“I don’t know if there are any real barriers. Using social media is quite easy
and simple when you know what you are looking for. If connections fail then it
is an obstacle.” (Male, private radio journalist, FI)

However, some journalists mentioned the following minor barriers:

Limited use of social media because of their own lack of skills. They would
like to take steps to expand their use of social media even further, especially
the older journalists. (CY, DK, FI, EL, MT, PT, SE)

“I think we journalists are stuck in our traditional ways of thinking, which in
many ways can hinder us in our development.” (Female, press journalist, SE)

“The barrier is that I do not know how to use them, except for Facebook. The
barrier for me is that nobody in my organisation has ever taught me how to
use them.” (Female, public radio journalist, EL)

Difficulty identifying the interesting information amongst all the information
that they receive. (BE, LT)

Employers who are not convinced about the benefits of social media for
journalists’ work or who restrict use during work hours. (CY)

o Agreements made with employers about what can and cannot be
communicated via social media. (NL)

Not having enough time to use social media as much as they would like to.

(CY, FR)

We all have a computer, we all have internet access, but it all requires an
investment of time, so it’s a little bit time consuming.” (Male, public TV
journalist, FR)

Being required by some social media platforms to enter personal information
in order to register with them. (FR, LV)

Social sites are very strongly monopolised. (LU)

It is not always possible to know the real identity of people using
pseudonyms, especially in forums, where participants want to remain
anonymous. (LU)

The credibility of information obtained through social media. (EL)

“Credibility is the only barrier, you cannot be sure and as a journalist you must
always be 100% sure of what you say otherwise you put your career in
danger.” (Male, private radio journalist, EL)

Searching systems in social media channels are not convenient. (LT)

“Search[ing] works badly. If something is longer in [the] Facebook feed, you
cannot do ctrl+F, you have to go through ‘show more’. But that is a minimal
obstacle.” (Male, press journalist, LT)

Journalists and Social Media – Aggregate Report

54

Limited depth in the information obtained through social media. A personal or
telephonic interview yields more in-depth information. (AT)

“A journalist gets more information from an interview partner by phone or in a
personal interview, than by simply communicating in social media sites.
Social media cannot express the social interaction and gestures; they are
more some kind of supplement in this regard.” (Female, private TV journalist,
AT)

Journalists and Social Media – Aggregate Report

55

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