My research project is underway! So far, I have received responses from about 10% of the stations on their use of social media. From the data to date, there is a large difference between responses today and those collected two years ago. For example, two years ago only 45 percent of the stations were using Facebook and Twitter. My results so far show 100 percent of stations that have responded are using both Facebook and Twitter. In addition, a majority of these stations are also using blogs, MySpace, and YouTube as well. All of the stations reported using social media to enhance listenership, saying it, “creates closer relationship between listeners and the station” and “deepens understanding of community, relationships”.

Regarding stations using social media for news gathering, more than 50 percent of the stations use social media to get leads on stories. Stations have also responded that they get listener feedback on their social media sites to enhance their coverage on a particular story and some are even using it to find interview subjects. However, interestingly enough, these stations did not find social media to be a “reliable source” of information and 100 percent said social media will not replace traditional media. I found this last part to be very interesting. Someone is trained in traditional media sourcing may not want to admit to the power of social media, but the reality is that there are many people who are using Facebook and Twitter to receive news. While it may not be the most accurate form of news, it is definitely a quick and easy way to receive news and information on the go.

We still gathering responses from stations so we can get the more comparable results possible. As results come in, I will continue to update my findings. Stay tuned…


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