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5 Ways Newspapers Are Using Social Media

Old media, meet new media.

A recent report from the Indiana University school of journalism shows how journalists in the United States use social media.

The report is entitled "The American Journalist in the Digital Age." It's authored by Laura Willnat and David Weaver, both journalism professors.

The authors surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. journalists online late last year and found that about 40% of journalists said social media is "very important" to their work. More than a third said that they spend between 30 and 60 minutes a day on social media sites.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter is the most popular social networking site of choice for most journalists. That site limits user updates to 140 characters, making it easy to keep up with a variety of headline-like news updates with abbreviated links. That enables people in the news industry to keep pace with current events.

SEE ALSO: Social Media Helps Newspapers Increase Website Traffic

Here are five ways that journalists are using social media.

1. To Follow The News

Almost 80% of journalists said that they use social networking sites to follow the news. The study found that the most common reason that journalists use social media is to check for breaking news.

2. To Keep Up With The Competition

Nearly three quarters of journalists use social media to keep up with the competition. That is, they check on what journalists from other news outlets are reporting.

3. Ideas For Stories

Journalists who are hard-pressed to find an idea for a story often turn to social media for inspiration. Both Twitter timelines and Facebook news feeds are typically loaded with links to news, news analysis, and interesting stories that can provide the struggling journalist with a topic for an article.

4. Stay In Touch With Readers

Journalists can develop a fan base. Often, that fan base will follow those journalists on social media. Members of the fan base will often provide feedback or compliments regarding a recent article on social media where journalists can also reply to them.

5. Self-Promotion

Social media is a great way for journalists to build their own publicity. They can post a link to an article that they authored and it could go viral. They can also use social networking sites to boost name recognition.

Social media is a net benefit to journalists. It provides them with excellent opportunities to promote their work as well as themselves.

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