Should Twitter and Facebook be part of the Newsbeat?

Pictured is Dr Bahareh Heravi, Project Lead and Leader of the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at INSIGHT@NUIGalway
Jul 25 2013 Posted: 11:16 IST

           INSIGHT@NUIGalway launches national survey on journalists’ use of social media

Social media is becoming a vital tool to many contemporary journalists. From Syria to Turkey and Brazil, international news stories are broken by ordinary citizens on social media every day and it’s not just serious news. The latest football transfer rumours or celebrity scandal is now more likely to break on Twitter than by conventional means. The emergence of these new technologies is fundamentally changing the way journalists work and source stories.

A 2011 survey* revealed that 97% of UK journalists use social media for their work, similar pan European** and global*** studies have also been completed. In Ireland, however, despite the widespread adoption of social media particularly among journalists, no formal study on Irish media professionals’ use of social media has yet been carried out. Researchers at the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre INSIGHT@NUIGalway have launched the first national survey on how Irish journalists use social media.  This new study aims to measure the prevalence of social media use among professional journalists, and determine the role it plays in the modern Irish newsroom.

The researchers are calling on all media professionals working in print, TV, radio and online media to take 10 - 12 minutes out of their busy schedules to fill out the online survey. “The ubiquity of social media is quickly changing the global media landscape, leading us to query Ireland’s contemporary journalistic practices”, said Dr Bahareh Heravi, the project leader and head of the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at INSIGHT@NUIGalway. “This survey will help to not only delineate these practices, but the data collected has the potential to ultimately result in more informed and accurate reporting,” she added.

Dr Heravi stressed the need for all journalists to get involved, from digital natives to those who don't even have a twitter account: "We are aware that there are some journalists who don't use social media or even feel that it shouldn't be used for journalistic purposes. It is very important for the study to capture all journalists' opinions.”

The project is being run by the Digital Humanities and Journalism group in INSIGHT@NUIGalway, which leads a number of projects exploring how new technologies are impacting the world of journalism and other digital humanities like archiving.

“This survey will help us to determine the needs of the media industry in Ireland and enable us to shape its future. This is the role of the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at INSIGHT@NUIGalway” said Director of INSIGHT@NUIGalway Professor Stefan Decker.

INSIGHT is Irelands National Data Analytics Research Centre, hosted at NUI Galway, UCC, DCU and UCD.

The survey can be accessed here: and more information on the research group can be found at


*2011 Social Journalism Study carried out by Cision and Canterbury Christchurch University (UK)

**2011 Social Journalism Study, European Results

***2012 Global Digital Journalism Study by the Oriella PR Network

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