Use of Net by Business Journalists Is “Almost Universal”

According to a new study by
Global Financial Communication Network (GFC
the use of the Internet by business and financial journalists
is now “almost universal,” with 95 percent using the Net for news and information.

For the study, interviewers contacted 117 business and financial
journalists in the world’s leading financial centres — Hong
Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, London, New York, Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt —
and discovered that 58 percent use the Internet several
times a day for research.

“The research demonstrates that the Internet is already having a
significant effect on the way journalists work and this trend
looks set to accelerate,” said Ron Finlay, director of
Fishburn Hedges,
a London-based PR company that is a member of GFC Net.

“As competition increases among media titles, those journalists
who have not already got to grips with the Internet will be under
increasing pressure to do so in order to stay ahead of their rivals
in sourcing news,” added Finlay.

“We are already beginning to see news web sites breaking news to
an international audience ahead of the daily papers, and this,
in turn will put pressure on companies and their public relations
advisers to speed up their supply of news information to the media.”

The study found that UK journalists were “the least likely” to use
the Internet more than once a day, with only 36 percent of them
doing so — compared with 74 percent in Belgium, 63 percent in
Hong Kong and 60 percent in France and the United States.

However, UK journalists were more likely than others to favour
receiving press information by e-mail, with 55 percent expressing
a preference for e-mail. By contrast, journalists in the U.S. suffer
from “e-mail overload” and only 30 percent cited e-mail as their

Other intriguing findings included the statistic that 80 percent
of journalists worldwide have their work published on the Internet
as well as in paper-based publications; Belgian and Japanese
journalists say they “never visit Web sites for their own leisure”
— and French journalists rarely reveal their e-mail addresses to
PR contacts.

Further details about the study, entitled “Business News in Cyberspace,”
are available from GFC Net.

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