Journalists fleeing Twitter? Hardly

We’ve heard rumblings since Elon took over that journalists are fleeing Twitter in protest, which would have big ramifications for how we connect with them online.

My anecdotal experience has been contrary to this supposed trend, and now we have hard data that puts the question to rest.

Muck Rack just released its 2023 State of Journalism report, with responses from more than 2,000 professional journalists.

  • A whopping 90 percent responded they are still Twitter users.
  • 78 percent reported it’s their most valuable social media platform.
  • A third of them even said they’ll spend more time on Twitter in the coming year (compared with 28 percent who said less, and the rest staying the same).

This inertia for journalists on Twitter highlights just how sticky a network effect is. If all your peers are on a platform, and also most of the influential arbiters of information who can amplify your work, how likely would YOU be to throw that all away and move to Mastodon or Post or another nascent competitor without that same network?

So you should keep connecting with journalists on Twitter – the best way to open a conversation is to first share their work with an intelligent comment that propels the discussion forward. Don’t merely retweet it or add “Great read!”

Some other encouraging takeaways from the study that may run against current conventional wisdom:

  • 29 percent of journalists are more likely to respond to pitches than a year ago. Any number above 0 here is cause for dancing on the table. Based on the dour way we PR folk talk about pitch responses, wouldn’t you have assumed all of them would have said “less likely,” not the mere 19 percent who actually did?
  • 33 percent feel that audience trust in their area of journalism has increased (21 percent decreased, the rest the same).
  • 66 percent plan to attend more in-person events than in 2022.

One bit of nerdy praise for the study methodology: They reported a 2.4% margin of error. Not only is that crazy low, I can’t recall another industry study even attempting to report a MOE. Muck Rack data scientists for the win!

Download the study and dig into lots more takeaways.

P.S. I had fun testing the new GPT-4 yesterday and scolded it for giving me a made-up middle initial. Its response is pretty funny!

This article was originally published on March 15, 2023

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