89% of Reporters Finding Story Ideas on the Internet

According to the Arketi Group 2007 Web Watch Survey, 84 percent of journalists say they would or already have used blogs as a primary or secondary source for articles. 100% of those (journalists) surveyed say they rely on the Internet to help get their job done. One-quarter of journalists say blogs make their job easier, while 18 percent say instant messaging makes their job easier. Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi Group, says “In an era exploding with user-generated content, social media, and Web 2.0, it’s important for those in business-to-business communications to understand how journalists are using technology…”Ninety-seven percent of journalists surveyed say they enjoy using new technologies. And 30 percent of journalists say they use some type of instant messenger for professional communication.Sixty percent of journalists say they spend more than 20 hours a week on the Internet.

When asked how journalists use the Internet:

  • 98% say reading news
  • 97% say emailing
  • 93% say finding news sources
  • 89% say finding story ideas
  • 72% say reading blogs
  • 67% say watching webinars or webcasts

Dr. Kaye Sweetser, APR, assistant professor of public relations at the University of Georgia’s Grady College, said “…this survey shows that business journalists are embracing user-generated content like blogs, webinars and podcasts… in their day-to-day reporting…” Ninety percent of journalists say they turn to industry sources for story ideas, an equal number get story ideas from news releases and a nearly equal number say they tap into public relations contacts.

  • 79% of journalists report finding story ideas on newswires
  • 74% say from Web sites
  • 72% say from other media outlets
  • 54% report blogs spark story ideas

Working with known sources:

  • All journalists surveyed said they prefer working via email
  • 91% prefer telephone
  • 77% say in-person
  • 25% say they prefer instant messaging
  • 98 percent say they prefer to receive news releases via email from companies they know

Working with unknown sources:

  • 98% of journalists surveyed say they prefer emails
  • 80% say phone contact with an unknown source is acceptable
  • 93% of business journalists say they prefer to receive news releases via email from companies they don’t know, but are in industries they cover

Others sources of credible online information according to those journalists surveyed included:

  • International organizations (89 percent)
  • Government agencies (85 percent)
  • Corporate websites (85 percent)
  • PR professionals (77 percent)
  • Activist websites (41 percent)
  • Blogs (41 percent)
  • Politicians (35 percent)
  • Chat, message boards (18 percent)

According to journalists, the most useful information on a corporate Web site is contact information (97 percent), search capabilities (95 percent), press room/press kits (92 percent), company backgrounders (89 percent) and publication-quality graphics or photos (66 percent).To download a report of the findings, please visit here.  

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7 Comments

  1. […] The Web 2.0world has tilted The balance of information power to the customer, this means that you must understand what is relevant to the customer and examine how you can effectively communicate with that customer.  We continue to see the decline of traditional media (newspapers, broadcast television), while social networks grow and thousands of new bogs (micro publishers) join the conversation every day and reporters now turn to the web for research and story ideas. […]

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