Sue Burzynski Bullard’s ‘Editors Use Social Media Mostly to Post Story Links’ study was published in the Spring 2015 edition of the Newspaper Research Journal.
Bullard’s study examines social media’s role in the modern-day newsroom and how editors are using the tools to communicate with readers. The study found that most editors use social media to just post links to stories, but that isn’t the most effective way for news organizations to use social media.
Newsrooms should engage with readers by posing questions, responding to comments and keeping a conversational tone. It is also important that social media is ingrained in the newsroom as part of everyone’s job.
“Audiences today expect to find news and information on many platforms. Increasingly, they’re accessing news via social media,” Bullard said. “News organizations can maximize the potential of social media by training their staffs to use social platforms for two-way conversations. Simply posting links isn’t enough to keep audiences coming back.”
The study was funded by a $1,000 grant from the AEJMC Council of Industry Affiliates, Industry Research Forum.
Before she was a professor, Bullard was the managing editor of The Detroit News and worked at newspapers in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Lansing and Port Huron, Michigan.
She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University in 1974 and a master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University in 2000.
Bullard has been honored for her achievements in both journalism and teaching. In 2014, she received the Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. She’s won numerous other teaching awards in various Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication competitions. In 2010, she won the Promising Professor Award from the Mass Communication and Society division of AEJMC. In 2008, she received a lifetime achievement award from the SPJ Detroit chapter. She was inducted into the Michigan State News Hall of Fame in 2009. And she was named an outstanding alumna by the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 2007.
She is also the author of “Everybody’s an Editor: Navigating Journalism’s Changing Landscape,” has taught journalists from around the world for the Poynter Institute and has written about digital media for Nieman Reports Professor’s Corner. Much of her work can be found on Digital Commons at University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Newspaper Research Journal is a refereed journal published quarterly that reaches more than 1,000 journalism students, scholars and media professionals in the United States and 20 countries.
NRJ comprehensively answers questions about U.S. newspaper performance and related topics of interest. Significant themes of research range from balance and fairness to the use of computer analysis in newspaper reporting. NRJ is unique because it provides a forum for comprehensive, current research and discussion on print and online journalism, serving as a bridge between newspaper professionals and scholars.
The journal is published by SAGE Publications on behalf of the Newspaper and Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).