How Journalists Work - the Latest Survey

By Kyle Niederpruem posted 06-13-2018 07:36 PM

Shareability, Credibility and Objectivity: The State of Journalism Today” – pushed out in May from Muck Rack and Zeno Group. The sample size of this online survey of journalists is relatively small with 520 global participants and has a 4% margin of error. It was completed in mid-February. Of those who did reply, the majority were U.S.-based journalists.

Here’s what I found most interesting as a PR practitioner:

Almost half of all journalists believe that it is “not possible for a journalist to be 100% objective” in today’s political and social environment.

Nearly 45% are either “somewhat” or “very” pessimistic about the direction of their industry, up from 27% in 2017.

71% believe “the current presidential administration represents a highly negative challenge to the news media, putting journalism and journalists on the defensive, and eroding the media’s credibility with the American people.”

63% of U.S. journalists track how many times their stories are shared on social media and 30% of U.S. journalists says that data analytics “increasingly influence” what kinds of stories they cover. Let that sink in.

More than one-third of journalists go to social media as their “first” source of news, but channel preferences are changing dramatically. A good chunk are abandoning Facebook for Twitter and Instagram (those two are even in preferences). Instagram isn’t my go-to for news, but it certainly is a channel for finding influencer partners.

As for PR practitioners, much is the same. It’s a love-hate relationship. Still, more than half of the journalists labeled their work with PR colleagues as a partnership or “mutually beneficial.” The standard news release is also waning in use and waning in interest. Many want infographic components and video. They’re also interested in communications from PR that have a Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality component.

Surveys like these are interesting, but if you’re really scoring with media – you know some media preferences are personal and some media standards are universal.

If your mojo is working for clients, keep doing what works – and jettison what isn’t.