A survey of more than 600 journalists worldwide reveals that more journalists are using social media to find story ideas or new angles on a story.

A survey of more than 600 journalists worldwide reveals that more journalists are using social media to find story ideas or new angles on a story.

The Oriella PR Network’s Global Digital Journalism Study 2012 found that more than half of journalists surveyed – from 16 different countries, Canada included – used social media updates from people with whom they had existing relationships to source stories. North American journalists relied on social media more heavily than the average, with 62 per cent of saying they use trusted sources in this way.

But this only holds true for sources that the journalists knew. As the study says:

When looking at the use of unfamiliar social media sources (i.e. those they don’t know well), a different picture emerges. Only a quarter (26%) of respondents worldwide said they would use microblogs from sources they didn’t know.

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Though social media can help introduce journalists to new sources, the report says, “journalists appear to attach far greater importance to trusted sources than the wisdom of the crowds.”

Poynter (whose story on this report we, appropriately for this story, found via Twitter) does point out that in a sample of 613 journalists from 16 countries, it is likely that less than 100 are U.S.- or Canadian-based, making the margin of error problematic.

You can check out the full report here