Oct 08, 2012 / by Lisa Denten

This post is written by Falk Rehkopf, managing director of Cision Germany.

Cision is proud to present the first edition of its Social Journalism Country Barometer. This barometer ranks countries based on the ‘social media fitness’ of its journalists. The data used stems from the Social Journalism Study, an online survey conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University about the uses and perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of social media among journalists. Each country is ranked in relation to each of the four dimensions, and then a combined ranking is achieved by taking an average rank score for all four dimensions for each country.

Here are the results:

#1 goes to Canada closely followed by the US at #2

Journalists surveyed in Canada and the US consistently ranked the highest in their overall use, attitude, knowledge and practice of social media demonstrating that they are leading the way in embedding social media across their professional practice.  It shows that the use of social media is not confined just to a new breed of younger journalists but applies across the whole sector where a large number of journalists are successfully engaging across a whole range of mediums to help them with their work.

This high use of social media is challenging traditional routes to reach audiences and therefore has an impact on communication methods adopted by public relations practitioners and how in turn all information is disseminated by journalists.  Media organisations themselves need to embed social media strategies as part of their business to ensure that they meet the needs of the market.

# 3 for the UK

These journalists show an increasing use of social media platforms from the year before, indicating social media’s growing importance for UK journalists work.  They are keen users of most social tools but content communities remain low on their list of priorities. Interestingly negative attitudes are growing since last year suggesting that although usage is high, journalists are using social media because they have to engage but they are less convinced about the benefits to themselves or the role of journalism in the UK.

# 4 for France & #5 for Australia

Journalists from these two countries reported fairly similar uses, attitude and knowledge of social media – being neither leaders in this field nor laggards who are slow on the uptake.  They are keen to use social media to source stories but it seems they are still progressing along the learning curve to a more comprehensive adoption of social media, like the US and Canada.  To help these two countries increase their adoption of social media, some investment in training and support from professional associations and media organisations could help overcome the reluctance some journalists are currently feeling.

# 6 for Sweden

This country shows the most contrasting use and attitude towards social media. Swedish journalists, when compared to the other countries, often appear in the middle of the social media use, knowledge, number and variety of tools used but report very positive views about the impact of social media and that barriers to greater use can easily be overcome.  This gap could be reduced through better training and awareness building to capitalise on Swedish journalists’ positive attitudes and turn them into more active social media users.

# 7 for Finland

Finnish journalists are using social media but compared to the other countries generally showed a lower engagement with social media across all the areas investigated. In particular they are significantly lower than all other countries in using social media for sourcing stories, preferring to use to monitor what is being reported.  These journalists recorded a fairly low knowledge of social media so it is not surprising that more widespread use has not yet taken place. Interestingly, like the Swedish journalists, they have quite a positive attitude towards social media so it seems that it is just a lack of knowledge that is preventing greater use.

# 8 for Germany

Throughout the study German journalists were consistently lower than all other countries in their use, attitude, knowledge and involvement with social media. It is particularly noticeable that this country also has the lowest number of hours per day engaged in social media, which clearly limits the amount of engagement that they can demonstrate. What is also noticeable is, compared to the other countries surveyed, the pattern of social media use is also low for German consumers.

This suggests that there are wider social, regulatory and technological barriers that need to be broken down before wider adoption is possible for both consumers and journalists.

Related links:
Social Journalism Study – 2010
Social Journalism Study – 2011
Social Journalism Study – 2012 (UK)
Social Journalism Studie – Journalist Segments [Infographik] 2012 (UK)
Tweets – Social Journalism Study 2012 (in English)
Tweets – Social Journalism Study 2012  (in German)
Cision Social Journalism Barometer 2012 (auf English)
Cision Social Journalism Barometer 2012 (in German)

About the Cision Social Journalism Country Barometer

The Professional Social Media Barometer/Social Journalism Barometer ranks countries on the basis of four dimensions: social media involvement, practice, knowledge and attitudes. Each country is ranked  in relation to each of the four dimension, and then a combined ranking is achieved by taking an average rank score for all four dimensions for each country. The four dimensions are calculated from values in nine indicators. These are:

Social Media Involvement: Daily Work Use (1); Number of Followers/Friends (2)
Social Media Practice: Professional Social Media Activities (3); Social Media Types Used (4); Purposes of Professional Social Media Use (5)
Social Media Knowledge: Perceived Knowledge (6)
Social Media Attitudes: Views About Impacts on their Own Work (7); Views about  Impacts on the Profession (8); Perceptions about Barriers (9)

A value for each indicator is determined using data from the 2012 Social Journalism survey. The value is either achieved as a mean score or as value from categorical data. Countries are then ranked according to this value for each indicator.

Tags : social media

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About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.