Will social media save newspapers? – Journalism Practice

Résumé : In response to the popularity of social networking sites, newspapers are distributing content through Facebook and Twitter. Yet the role of social media in these newspapers’ overall business model remains unclear at best. Are they repeating the same “mistake” seen in their Web experiment by seeking eyeballs before locating a revenue stream, giving content away for free, and granting audience access to aggregators? Analyzing the top 66 US newspapers’ social media presence, this study empirically examines the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter as news platforms. As of 2012, the distribution of newspaper content through social networking sites has become a common practice. Twitter is more effective than Facebook in terms of audience reach. While the results indicate a positive relationship among newspapers’ Facebook, Twitter, Web, and print readerships, social media subscribers continue to represent a small fraction of print and Web users. Despite the hype about the potential of social media sites as news delivery channels, the magnitude of their contribution to Web traffic and advertising revenue seems underwhelming.