Journalists Working Online More And Using Blogs More

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The shift from print to online media is giving journalists more responsibility and making them more aware of the commercial side of the business according to the "2008 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey."

The survey polled 1,231 journalists including newspaper and magazine journalists, television, radio and online reporters, and bloggers.

Fifty-seven percent said they feel they are being asked to work more today than in the past few years, and 56 percent say they are contributing to other mediums outside their official duty. Forty-two percent of magazine journalists are expected to contribute to the online version of their publication and 39 percent of newspaper reporters are expected to do the same. Twenty-two percent said they are blogging for their traditional publication.

Recent staff reductions at large print outlets have led to 67 percent of newspaper journalists to expect declines in print circulation and more focus online over the next three years. Thirty-eight percent of newspaper reporters anticipate reductions in staff over the next three years.

When asked the most important part of their work, 91 percent said "Make my publication successful by creating appealing content for its audiences" as the top priority, ahead of "Educate and inform the masses," "Break news," and "Chronicle events as they happen." The findings indicate a higher level of commercial awareness among journalists.

Seventy percent of respondents said that public opinion of journalists has become worse during the past five years, and 52 percent believe the public has a "somewhat negative" opinion of journalists.

Nearly 73 percent of respondents sometimes or always use blogs in their research. The most often cited reason for using blogs in research was "to measure sentiment."

Close to 90 percent of respondents said email was their preferred way to be contacted by PR people. Less than 7 percent said they would prefer not to be contacted by PR people. Eighty-six percent of bloggers said they currently receive pitches from PR people, with 24 percent saying these pitches never result in a story and 49 percent saying the pitches are related to what they report only 0-25% of the time.

"With the media industry in a state of flux, reporters recognize that it is more and more difficult to confine oneself to standard roles and responsibilities. The proliferation of online news sites and blogs has put incredible pressure on traditional media outlets, forcing many to reallocate or cut staff in order to compete," stated Dave Armon, chiefoperating officer, PR Newswire.


Journalists Working Online More And Using Blogs More
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  • Mike

    It’s extremely sad that "journalistic virtues" are taking second place to commercial needs… but was it not ever so?  No newspaper in history survived without making sales and the greatest journalistic virtue was a big and loyal readership, which is exactly what every blogger dreams of as well!  So perhaps nothing has really changed. 

    Well, a few things have.  News moves at a faster pace than ever before.  In fact, we don’t get ‘News’ anymore.  We get headlines.  There isn’t time for analysis.  Most of the time we get half-formed fragments of stories, and most of these are ultimately dropped in favour of the big story of the moment, which then receives weeks of attention at the expense of all other noteworthy events – and all the online media are more guilty of this than print or broadcast ever was, because it’s so easy to rattle off a blog post or slap an article on a website, or deposit half a dozen comments with linkbacks. 

    You’d think that online media would be the solution to this problem; it’s very nature permitting people to work remotely, to upload (read: publish) stories and developments at all hours of the day, as and when they have something worthwhile to say.  You’d think it would allow journalists to return to proper investigative reporting where they have the time to put in the legwork, to dig deep and develop a story before putting it out at their own convenience, rather than rushing to make an edition. But it seems not. 

    Instead, they use this extra communicating power to boost PR rather than providing good copy.  This is the same as being lazy.  It’s easier to advertise sub-standard work that you’ve plagiarised anyway, rather than create new and interesting content.  Being interesting is harder.

    So, you can either use the amazing liberty embodied in a wifi connection, and the amazing communication and information resources embodied in cell phones and laptops to do better work than ever before, or you can use it to be lazier than ever before. 

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    yes, I agree with you mike…

    It’s extremely sad that “journalistic virtues” are taking second place to commercial needs… but was it not ever so? No newspaper in history survived without making sales and the greatest journalistic virtue was a big and loyal readership, which is exactly what every blogger dreams of as well! So perhaps nothing has really changed.

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  • http://invictatrader.com Ed

    This makes perfect sense. News media must move towards online publishing and start relying on it more and more. Newspapers are a dying breed of journalism.

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