A new study has revealed the extent to which journalists from around the world are using social media both as a source of news, and to verify stories already being worked on. In their Digital Journalism Study, Oriella surveyed 600 journalists and discovered that more than half (55 percent) used social channels such as Twitter and Facebook to find stories from known sources, and 43 percent verified existing stories using these tools. 26 percent of respondents said that they used social media to find stories from sources they did not know, and almost one in five (19 percent) verified work in progress from sources unknown to them. The figures are even higher in the UK, with 75 percent of journalists using social media to research news from known sources. 52 percent of journalists said their employer’s titles had Facebook pages, while 46 percent had professional Twitter profiles. Oriella’s findings have been documented in an infographic, which takes a closer look at digital journalism today.
China will toughen requirements for reporters by launching a new certification system that includes training in Marxist and communist theories of news, a media official said, citing problems with the current crop of mainland journalists. The South China Morning Post reported Thursday that Li Dongdong, deputy director of the General Administration of Press and Publication, said some reporters were giving Chinese journalism a bad name because they hadn’t been properly trained. She didn’t give any specific examples. Similar comments by Li were posted on the Web site of the official Xinhua News Agency. Li told Xinhua on Monday that the new qualification system would ensure all journalists learn socialist and Marxist theories of journalism and media ethics. Communist theories of journalism say media should serve the communist leadership and not undermine its initiatives. Many democracies embrace a model where reporters serve a watchdog role independent of the government.
He has been voted the greatest journalist of the 20th century. In an unparalleled career, Ryszard Kapuscinski transformed the humble job of reporting into a literary art, chronicling the wars, coups and bloody revolutions that shook Africa and Latin America in the 1960s and 70s. But a new book claims that the legendary Polish journalist, who died three years ago aged 74, repeatedly crossed the boundary between reportage and fiction-writing – or, to put it less politely, made stuff up. In a 600-page biography of the writer published in Poland Monday, Artur Domoslawski says Kapuscinski often strayed from the strict rules of “Anglo-Saxon journalism”. He was often inaccurate with details, claiming to have witnessed events he was not present at. On other occasions, Kapuscinski invented images to suit his story, departing from reality in the interests of a superior aesthetic truth, Domoslawski claims. The biographer, a correspondent with Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s largest paper, said he did not want to debunk Kapuscinski, whom he described as “my mentor”. Instead, he said, he sought to start a debate over the relationship between truth and fiction, a biographer and his subject, and how far modern Poland remained haunted by its communist past.
Blogs and social media sites are now “well-used sources” for story research by journalists, a US survey claims. According to study of 371 US journalists and editors by Cision and the Masters Degree Programme in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University, 89 per cent of respondents said they turn to blogs, 65 per cent to social networks and 55 per cent to microblogging sites as part of their research. Seventy two per cent of newspaper and online journalists use social networking sites for significant online research, in comparison with 58 per cent of those at magazines, while online-only journalists make the most use of Twitter, the survey suggests. The results of the study suggest that mainstream media has reached “a tipping point” when it comes to using social media for research and reporting, says Heidi Sullivan, vice president of research for Cision North America, in a press release. “However, it’s also clear that while social media is supplementing the research done by journalists, it is not replacing editors’ and reporters’ reliance on primary sources, fact-checking and other traditional best practices in journalism,” says Sullivan. News delivered by social media was seen as slightly less or much less reliable than that distributed by ‘traditional’ media outlets by 84 per cent of respondents. This percentage was higher amongst newspaper and magazine journalists and lower amongst the web journalists studied.