Newspapers still set the media agenda, Pew study says
Tempted to throw up a Facebook fan page and call it your media relations campaign? Pitching to bloggers and tweeting is way more important than sending a release to the local daily, right?
Not so fast.
After examining a week of news activity in Baltimore, the Pew Research Center found that 95 percent of stories that contained new information came from traditional media. And most of those came from … newspapers.
We’re rehashing the same old story
“Most of what the public learns is still overwhelmingly driven by traditional media — particularly newspapers,” the study’s researchers found. “These stories tended to set the media agenda for most other media outlets.”
Most “news,” it turns out, is just rehashed. Eight out of 10 stories published, in fact, were just repackaged versions of previously published pieces.
Blogs, Twitter and other social media “played only a limited role,” the researchers wrote, “mainly [as] an alert system and a way to disseminate stories from other places.”
Releases play a bigger role
News releases also play a bigger role in traditional news reporting than they have in the past.
“As the press scales back on original reporting and dissemination, reproducing other people’s work becomes a bigger part of the news media system,” the researchers wrote. “We found official press releases often appear word for word in first accounts of events, though often not noted as such.”
Want to reach bloggers? The best way may be to send a release to newspaper reporters.
Don’t ignore ‘new’ media
But don’t give up on social media, either. It expands the reach and influence of any story, regardless of its origins.
For example, where do you think I found out about this study?