Journalists Working Online More And Using Blogs More

    March 27, 2008

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.