71pc of journalists use Twitter as a news source

12 Apr 2011

Highlighting the growing prominence of Twitter in the Irish media village, a poll of 100 journalists found that 71pc of them use Twitter as a source of news or as supporting material for articles they had written.

A joint research study by Kantar Media and the Public Relations Institute of Ireland has shown that references to Twitter across print media in Ireland have increased from 16 mentions per month in January 2008 to 2,058 references per month in March 2011.

“The research will come as no surprise to many people in the industry, as social media has now become such a large part of our everyday lives,” Dan Halliwell, managing director of Kantar Media Ireland, explained.

“While the latest figures point to just 4pc of the population using Twitter, its prominence in the mainstream media has now made it a permanent fixture in our vocabulary and the news agenda. We increasingly see this trend amongst our own client base, who use our technology to monitor online and social media platforms for mentions of brands or an organisation.”

The research, launched as part of the PRII’s annual conference – Crisis Communication in a 24/7 World – also found that the subject matter for Twitter references was evenly spread between the areas of entertainment (27pc), politics (27pc) and sport (28pc) within 1,100 articles of national broadsheet papers (January to March 2011).

The tweeted word

“PR professionals now have a multitude of communications channels to manage and the face of public relations is changing as this phenomenon grows,” Gerry Davis, chief executive of the PRII, explained.

“Many of our members play a significant part in the Twitter community and a multitude of social media platforms now have to be a key consideration when working in a crisis.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years