The Project for Excellence in Journalism released results of a study regarding Twitter use by 13 major news outlets. The findings are interesting in that they seem to indicate that most news organizations are still using social media as a promotional tool, rather than as a means for interacting with audiences.
The vast majority of the postings promoted the organizations’ own work and sent users back to their websites. On the main news feeds studied, fully 93% of the postings over the course of the week offered a link to a news story on the organization’s own website.
The researchers point out that this is reminiscent of the first news organization websites.
Initially, news organizations, worried about losing audience, rarely linked to content outside their own web domain.
Obviously, social media is a valuable promotional tool, but my belief is that social media 2.0 will emphasize the sharing nature of Twitter and other social networks, and the organizations that figure out how to do that most effectively will profit from audiences that feel they have more of a relationship with their news providers.