The 10th annual Cision State of the Media Report is out, and it’s full of fascinating insights into the shifting media landscape: What’s most concerning to journalists, how they perceive public trust, and so much more. The Cision blog and PR Forward both cover some of the top takeaways from the report, so we wanted to dig a little bit more into the social side of things.
What does this report tell us about the state of social media when it comes to the media industry?
We’re glad you asked.
Social media is complicated
That’s what it came down to in the survey results, which is not surprising to anyone familiar with often-challenging social media landscape.
The main issue with social media when it comes to its intersection with traditional media is how it affects publishing. From the report:
“More journalists now believe social networks bypassing traditional media is the biggest challenge facing journalism, when compared to the results of the 2018 survey. More journalists now also believe social media algorithms will be the technology with the biggest impact on their work this year.”
As public consumption of media shifts and increasing demands are put on attention from new, always-on technology, journalists have to compete not only directly with other journalists producing content for competing outlets, but other kinds of media producers that are increasing in popularity. While the public doesn’t necessarily turn to influencers for news, attention is finite and audiences have to choose where they want to put theirs each day.
With both influencers and journalists promoting content across social, understanding how the algorithms driving these platforms work is more important than ever— and these algorithms often remain as opaque as ever. That has a big impact on how journalists work.
Speaking of algorithms, the Facebook News Feed algorithm has gotten a great deal of attention, but Facebook has been in the news for much more over the past year. The public fallout with Facebook around data privacy, accuracy in analytics and more made many publishers realize they can’t rely on it as a distribution platform the way they once thought possible. This further impacts how journalists do their jobs.
And while some journalists might not be as plugged into social media as they once were, they still use social networks to find and connect with sources and stay up-to-date on real-time news. Social data is also critical to discovering which stories are resonating with audiences and is valued by publications.
Like we said, it’s complicated.