I’ve conducted a survey of the use by the news media of Twitter, the microblogging service. These results are what I’ve gotten after a week of having the survey open. I’m going to keep it open in the hopes that those in charge of using Twitter for their newspapers or broadcast companies will jump on. If that happens, I’ll issue an amended report.
This survey was based on my attempt to find and subscribe to the updates for every Twitter account I could find that was maintained by a general news organization. I came up with 72, which you can see at I’m With the Press. A number of these accounts are moribund.
I had 21 respondents to 10 questions. I am listing out the questions and the top responses below. Full data will be available to download.
1. What is your role at your organization?
Online editor: 30%
2. How long have you used Twitter at your organization?
Less than six months: 38.1%
3. What is its main use?
News delivery: 50%
4. How many of others’ updates do you follow?
Over 50: 33.3%
5. What additional Twitter applications do you use?
6. Who proposed the use of Twitter at your organization?
Online editor: 50%
7. Who is responsible for Twitter use at your organization?
Online editor: 50%
8. How useful has Twitter been to achieving the goal for which you began using it?
9. How many Twitter accounts does your organization have?
10. How likely do you think it is that media organizations will make Twitter, and other microblogging applications like it, a part of their day-to-day business in the future?
Well, let’s hear it for the Online Editors out there. The only really odd response was the claim that over 50 Twitter updates were followed, since that is not borne out by casual observation. It might be useful in the future to aim a more complete survey at those only editors. It might be illustrative to find out how size of the organization effected the use of Twitter, for instance.
Full results for download: News Media Use of Twitter full survey results.
Update: Jemima Kiss of the UK paper the Guardian, did her own (rather more thoughtful) analysis of the survey results. I think she’s right, that this is obviously only a start. I hope someone at a J-school designs and conducts a really complete survey of the news media’s use of Twitter.