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7 out of 10 journalists believe Facebook has too much power

Press Release   •   Feb 22, 2018 09:00 GMT

Journalists worry about the consolidation of power in giant social media companies - a concern that has become more apparent during the last couple of years, Mynewsdesk’s latest report reveals. Of the journalists surveyed, 71% believe Facebook has too much power as a source of information, and 61% cited they think Google/YouTube has too much power.

Also, social media’s role as a source of information has decreased, compared to 2016. Then 66% of the journalists cited social media as a key source of information, while in the latest report only 53% cite it – a 13% drop.

Today Mynewsdesk shares the third report from the annual journalist survey. The new report “Social Media Reset” explores how journalists use social media to source stories and disseminate news. Over 3,000 participants shared their views on the subject. (Download full report here)

As expected younger journalists cite that they use Facebook and Twitter to report and distribute news on a regular basis more than their more experienced colleagues. Divided into channels (Global average in bold, compared to journalists with 7 years experience or less); 

  • Facebook (64% vs 79%)
  • Twitter (52% vs 65%)
  • LinkedIn  (20% vs 20%)
  • YouTube (14% vs 14%)
  • Facebook Live (9% vs 8%)
  • Snapchat (3% vs 6%)

“The media landscape is changing, and we need to adjust more rapidly. Social media channels have replaced traditional news media for an entire generation. It’s crucial that qualitative and fact-checked news are available for all readers, whether it’s on traditional or on social media,” said Jonathan Bean, Chief Marketing Officer at Mynewsdesk.

According to journalists’ their biggest organizational challenges nowadays is the lack of resources (52%), storytelling (40%), multimedia (37%) and then the use of social media (38%). Other challenges include strategy, leadership support and technology but these are less concerning according to the survey.

During the research Mynewsdesk interviewed Beki Winchel, the editor of PR Daily.

“With a social media platform, its purpose is to keep you on as long as humanly possible so it can get your data and advertising dollars [...]. You need to know what you are looking at, adjust those algorithms and look at several different things. Don’t just log onto Facebook and see the same stories all the time because it’s going to perpetuate these kinds of falsehoods, or misinformation. It’s a little scary that they have so much power,” said Beki.

Stephen Lepitak, Editor, The Drum; Beki Winchel, Editor, PR Daily; Hassan Butt, Journalist, Communicate Magazine; Stephen Waddington, Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum; Martin Schibbye, Chief Editor, Blank Spot Project and Johanna Snickars, Communications Lead Sweden, Microsoft.

Other key findings

  • 53% view fake news as a long term problem and 33% worries about the effect fake news have on the industry.
  • 50% of journalists are concerned that the news media is no longer trusted as a reliable source of information.
  • 69% of journalists fear that independent news organizations will not be financially viable in the future and 70% worry about professional stability.

For more information, please contact,
Sara Lindström, Global PR Manager on +46 76 288 56 15 or sara.lindstrom@mynewsdesk.com

Survey Methodology
Mynewsdesk conducted a quantitative survey in June 2017 of journalists, editors, freelancers and communicators from the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Australia and Canada. The survey gathered 3,175 responses across two major categories: journalists (65%); and communications, PR, marketing professionals (35%).

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