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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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Social media plays a role in journalists’ general awareness of what is happening in
the news, and then deciding whether a story might be worth digging into. (AT, BG,
CZ, DK, FI, FR, DE, EL, IE, IT, LV, LT, LU, MT, RO, SK, SI, ES)

“I just read what happens (to my personal life) and if I found something
interesting I might search it more through traditional sources so as to see if I
can turn it into a professional article.” (Female, private radio journalist, EL)

The popularity of a story on social media is sometimes used as an indication that a
story might be worth exploring further.

“When one recognises that there are a lot of reactions and comments on a
particular story, then it is considered to be important and it is worth digging
into.” (Male, press journalist, AT)

Journalists and Social Media – Aggregate Report

65

“I see to what extent something attracts interest. I see what people comment.
If I see a link to news that happened recently and make 100 comments, it
means people are interested in it, so I take it.” (Male, press journalist, RO)

The journalists might also follow some themes and keywords on Twitter or decide
according to collected feedback whether to dig into the story or not.

However, many journalists were at pains to point out that although social media may
trigger journalists to further explore a story, it is by no means the deciding factor in
whether a story will eventually be written and broadcast/published. Here, other
factors play a more important role such as work meetings where decisions are made
about the perceived attractiveness of the theme; discussions with colleagues;
assessing the broader socio-political context in the country at the moment and
whether the story would be relevant. Ultimately it is the journalist who should be able
to decide what public issue to address rather than relying on what other people think
on social media.

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