Highlights From the 2011 Journalists’ Engagement Survey

By: Joy Mayer | Reynolds Journalism Institute

While editors at U.S. daily newspapers overwhelmingly say they think audience engagement has become an important part of practicing journalism, they’re often not sure what that means or how to go about it. Many have yet to embrace tools that allow them to understand and interact with their audiences. Not even half of respondents said that they use social media to listen as well as share information, that they interact with readers in comments sections, or that they use their analytics reports to help make news decisions.

A telephone survey of 529 managing editors, executive editors, and editors of daily community newspapers in March, April and May of 2011, validated that audience engagement is on the minds of editors, and not just the editors I interviewed this year who are on the cutting edge of experimentation. Many acknowledged that their news processes need to be more social and collaborative, and some mentioned hiring people specifically with that in mind.

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