Online Newsrooms: Transforming Social Media

journalists pay attention!

Posted on: October 5, 2010

Online newsrooms are just one wave in an ongoinging transformation that is happening in the media and the way we receive and view the news. We have revolutionized journalism and the news industry from a one way, hard-copy medium that was usually only available to those who were in the industry and could afford it, to a 24-hour environment where it is only the norm to have numerous news outlets and sources that are updated by the minute to view and compare on your own schedule. Online newsrooms fit right in with this norm.

Resource Media describes an online newsroom as a helpful resource for acquiring story ideas, research, sources, and background material on a multitude of subjects. The beauty of online newsrooms lies in the fact that almost everyone can find them useful; from experts, to bloggers, researchers, and really anyone looking to gather some extra information on a particular subject. But there is one group of people who undoubtedly consider these newsrooms to be a main source in their line or work…and that, ladies and gentlemen, are the journalists and reporters of the media.

Journalists work on deadlines and often need to find specific information in a speedy and accurate manner. According to Jakob Nielsen of Nielsen Norman Group, if a journalist is viewing a company’s online newsroom and cannot accomplish this task quickly and efficiently, then that company runs the risk of being left out of the story.

There have been countless studies conducted to back up the importance that online newsrooms hold in the lives of reporters and journalists. A 2009 Social Media & Online Usage Study conducted by George Washington University and Cision actually shows where journalists will go when researching for a story online.

This chart explains how 96% of journalists use corporate websites and their online newsrooms as information sources online. The corporate world recognizes this, which is why we are seeing companies scramble to get their own online newsrooms up and working.

TEKgroup also performed a 2009 Online Newsroom Survey that portrays the rise in online newsrooms’ use as an information gathering source. Journalists were asked to rate the importance of a company’s online newsroom resulting in 60% saying they were very important, 27% said they were important, 11% said they were somewhat important, and 2% said they were not important. Furthermore, the survey results revealed that 98% of reporters want one of the top features of online newsrooms to be the ability to thoroughly search a company’s archives.

Surveys like these prove that not only are online newsrooms prevalent information sources, but they are also continuously being revised and updated according to what users are looking for. And it’s not just journalists that using this somewhat new social media; it truly is anyone looking for information. It appears that online newsrooms are going nowhere fast, so if you’re unfamiliar with these abundant information sources, I’d say it’s time to get educated…especially if you’re a journalist.

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4 Responses to "journalists pay attention!"

Online newsrooms are almost neccessary for a company to have. I found your angle on the usefulness for journalists very interesting, as well as the importance for bloggers. I came across this article, http://www.dailynews.co.tz/home/?n=13451&cat=home, that mentions companies incorporating bloggers into their online newsrooms. This is a fascinating change going on in the media, trying to find ways to embrace bloggers and ‘citizen’ journalists.

Emily, before reading your post I didn’t know how important corporate online newsrooms were to journalists. With such a vast array of information sources out there, it’s interesting to see a shift in journalists’ investigative reporting techniques. I hope that you include examples of journalists using online newsrooms to research major stories in your next posts because I’ve never heard of any, and I’d like to see their effectiveness in action.

Before reading this post I didn’t know what an online newsroom really was. I went to a few corporation’s websites to check out their newsroom and can see how helpful a tool like that would be for journalists. It’s interesting to see how much the professional world if utilizing what used to be unprofessional technologies. I agree with Cathy that these newsrooms are almost necessary for a company to have. After going through about 5 websites and seeing all of their online newsrooms I reached a site where I could not find one and was actually disappointed. That just shows how important they are and how quickly they have caught on. It would be interesting to have a post comparing companies that do use an online newsroom with one that doesn’t. Maybe the company with the newsroom gets a lot more coverage in the traditional media because it is easy to access their information? That would be interesting to hear more about.

I was very surprised to learn how prominent the use of online newsrooms is for journalists (96%.) I think it would be an interesting topic to investigate how the concept of collaboration contributes to the effectiveness of online newsrooms in organizations’ social media strategies.

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