DERI launches national survey on journalists’ use of social media

Social media has become a vital tool for the contemporary journalist. From Syria and Turkey to Brazil, international news stories are broken by ordinary citizens on social media every day, and it’s not just serious news. The latest football transfer rumours or celebrity scandal is now more likely to break on Twitter than by conventional means. The emergence of these new technologies is fundamentally changing the way journalists work and source stories.

Despite the proliferation of social media – particularly among journalists – until now no formal study on Irish media professionals’ use of social media has been carried out. Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway have launched the first national survey on how Irish journalists use social media.

Similar studies have been carried out in the UK, Europe and worldwide, but this is the first comprehensive survey on Irish journalists’ use of social media.

This new study aims to measure the function of social media for professional journalists in Ireland, and the frequency and prevalance of social media as a tool for journalists. The researchers are calling on all journalists working in print, TV, radio and online media to take 10 minutes out of their busy schedules to fill out the online survey.

“The ubiquity of social media is quickly changing the global media landscape, leading us to query Ireland’s contemporary journalistic practices”, said Dr. Bahareh Heravi, the project manager and leader of the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at DERI.

“This survey will help to not only delineate these practices, but the data collected has the potential to ultimately result in more informed and accurate reporting”, she added.

The project is being run by the newly-formed Digital Humanities and Journalism group, which leads a number of projects exploring how new technologies are impacting the world of journalism and other digital humanities like archiving.

The survey can be accessed at surveymonkey.com/s/IrishSocialJournalism and more information on the research group can be found at hujo.deri.ie.

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