The results of the third edition of L45's research "Journalism in the Digital Age" has been published. Between new trends and established certainties, the institutional websites remains the preferred source for journalists 04 Mar 2022

Institutional and corporate websites, articles written by other colleagues, social media and online encyclopedias. These are the main sources used by journalists in 2022. This is what emerges from the third edition of the research "Journalism in the Digital Age".

L45 has carried out a research involving two hundred professionals enrolled in the Order of Journalists. The questionnaire submitted aimed to identify the way in which digital tools impact on the daily work of the editorial staff.

From the analysis of the emerged data - the salient percentages of which are shown below - Simone Guzzardi, Partner and Managing Director of L45 said: "As PR specialists who engage with journalists on a daily basis, it's important for us to see how their relationship with sources is changing. Data from the last edition tells us that the balance among different social media is changing. In fact, for most journalists they remain indispensable, but there is still a very strong attachment to a more classic type of journalism, made up of meetings with people and research on accredited sources such as institutional sites or online encyclopedias. This is probably a reaction to the period of 'forced digital' caused by the pandemic. Some recent researches confirm a negative trend in the use of social networks by Italians. Looking at the data of our research, journalists are also following the same path".

The most used sources

When developing new pieces and reports, 73.5% of Italian journalists look for information on institutional and/or corporate websites, while 72.7% also consult articles written by other colleagues. 48% check social media and 47% also consult online encyclopedias (Wikipedia, Biographies Online, Quora etc.).

Social media are still important but declining

The web has become an indispensable tool for those doing this job, to the point that only 1% say they never use it during their journalistic research. At the other end of the scale, 53% of the sample surveyed say they use it all the time. The number of journalists who use social media for work is decreasing compared to 2020, despite the fact that 88.9% of respondents believe they plays an important role.

Facebook down but remains the most used

The social media that is used most for work remains Facebook for 41% of respondents. However, it decreases by nearly fifteen percentage points from the data that emerged in 2020. In its place, the importance of LinkedIn and Twitter increases. These platforms are used as the primary social media by 24% and 23% of journalists, respectively.

Where to find news

Among the social media most used to find news, Facebook (33%) and Twitter (30%) stand out. In contrast, 18% of journalists, faithful to the old school of journalism, claim not to use any social network to find news.

LinkedIn is the most institutional social media

When the tone becomes more formal to ask for a discussion with a company manager or to propose an interview, journalists prefer to use LinkedIn (41%). By contrast, 37% of them do not use social media to contact the company's top management. Instead, they prefer to use messaging applications, good old fashioned email or call the person concerned by phone.

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