The rise of social news: Consumers seize the newsroom


The marriage of mobile technology and social media has shifted the editorial control of news, research has found, effectively allowing consumers to seize the newsroom.

The study of 7,500 media consumers found news is being dispersed in a more personal fashion via social media and mobile technology.

Seventy per cent of people say social media has made it easier to access news and more than four in five 18-24 year-olds and three-quarters of female respondents say they feel social media has brought them closer to the media.

People now consume an average of 5.9 media stories a day, with almost one in ten consuming more than 16 stories a day.

A massive 95 per cent of respondents said they consume media on multiple devices and almost half (48 per cent) take a multi-channel approach to media, merging digital, print and broadcast channels into their own preferred mix.

Jack Peat, Head of Digital at 72Point, said: “The perception that consumers can’t cope with a wealth of content needs to be challenged - this research suggests we have adapted to cope with it.

“Citizen editorship is the term we use to describe the funnel used by consumers to filter out content that is irrelevant to them.

“Our research shows consumers have become agents in the media cycle, choosing who to follow based on the content they’re most keen on receiving and becoming more powerful as a result.

“Similarly, when our interests change or we’re disappointed by our supplier, we reshape who we follow to minimise the amount of superfluous content heading our way.”

Despite a deluge of media content created by new digital outlets and mobile platforms, 56 per cent of people say they don’t feel bombarded by content or messaging.

Indeed, more than a third (36 per cent) of people say they feel more in control of the news they receive since owning a smartphone or tablet and only 11 per cent say they feel less in control.

Social media, driven by preference, has prompted us to develop editorial controls to filter out irrelevent news.

Almost a quarter of people say they have friends or follow people who they regard as authorities for news and almost one in five (19 per cent) say they trust their friends to source news.

A quarter still rely on media professionals, but a similar amount (23 per cent) say they rely on a mixture of both journalists and friends.

Peat added: “The media industry is shifting from broadcast to conversation, with consumers at the heart of the media cycle.

“New platforms have a big part to play in the media mix, but we don’t expect that to be at the expense of traditional media.

“That is partly because these outlets have adapted to cater for digital audiences, but namely because people have become better skilled at filtering out the content that appeals to them.”

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