The journal, Journalism Studies , has published online my co-authored study on how social media is shaping the habits of news consumers.
The paper, Share, Like, Recommend: Decoding the Social Media News Consumer, reveals the extent to which people are turning to Facebook and Twitter for the news.
I presented the results of the study at the Future of Journalism conference held at the University of Cardiff in September 2011.
Here’s the abstract:
This study examines the impact of social media spaces on news consumption, based on an online survey of 1600 Canadians. News organizations are rushing into social media, viewing services like Facebook and Twitter as opportunities to market and distribute content. There has been limited research outside the United States into the effects of social media on news consumption. Our study found that social networks are becoming a significant source of news for Canadians. Two-fifths of social networking users said they receive news from people they follow on services like Facebook, while a fifth get news from news organizations and individual journalists they follow. Users said they valued social media because it helped them keep up with events and exposed them to a wider range of news and information. While social interaction has always affected the dissemination of news, our study contributes to research that suggests social media are becoming central to the way people experience news. Networked media technologies are extending the ability of users to create and receive personalized news streams. Investigating how networked publics are reframing the news and shaping news flows would contribute to our understanding of the evolving relationship between the journalist and the audience.
The paper will be available in print later this year.