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The News: Déjà vu all over again

Thank goodness for Yogi Berra who said “This is like deja vu all over again.”

A recent report from the Biz Report noted that:

“Are you reading your local paper with a feeling of déjà vu? The feeling may not be a trick of the mind. According to a recent report, many newspaper reporters and editors are turning to social media for article ideas and research. The national survey, conducted by Don Bates with The George Washington University and Cision, nearly 90% of reporters use social media for research purposes.”

“Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are garnering the bulk of reporters’ attention but Wikipedia is also a favorite font of information with 61% of reporters saying they turn there for information. Most reporters turning to social networks and the like are writing primarily for the web, but writers for all sorts of news outlets are using social media.

The report found:

• 69% of online writers turn to social media
• 48% of magazine writers use social media
• 89% of all reporters reference blogs and 96% utilize corporate websites
• 72% of newspaper writers turn to social outlets

What is disturbing about the trend is that 89% of those using social media admit that blogs and social network sources are ‘slightly less’ or ‘much less’ reliable because of accuracy and verification concerns.”

It is distressing that many of us and our users intuitively think that print is more trustworthy, edited and tested for quality. Indeed some print publications such as Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and Forbes have shut down or severely curtailed their libraries and left their reporters to their own devices.

I wonder what this means for library strategies and what sources we should be promoting for our users to use and trust (because it comes within our trusted library brand)? If the print news is more regurgitation of the open social web, then why use it? We might need to collect and subscribe to content that is more authoritative or adds more value that just assembly of the open web into paper format and then pushed to the website.

Stephen

Posted on: February 23, 2010, 8:30 am Category: Uncategorized

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