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Tighter budgets, staff cuts and a continuing shift from print to online reporting responsibilities are requiring media professionals to work longer hours and forcing many to consider a career outside of journalism. This, and other findings uncovered in the " 2009 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey,"* indicate that the media profession remains turbulent, but that the changing landscape has created more opportunities for reporters to have their work published and for public relations professionals to generate interest in their clients' news.
The survey, sponsored by PR Newswire and PRWeek, polled a total of 2,174 traditional and non-traditional media, including newspaper and magazine journalists, television, radio and online reporters and bloggers. Its objective was to assess the attitudes and ideas of traditional journalists and bloggers, specifically regarding their duties, workload, interaction with PR professionals and opinions of the future of the media industry.
PR Newswire's Vice President of Distribution Services, Sarah Skerik, wrote an article for PRWeek on the results of the survey. To read this article, click here.
To view the full survey results as reported by PRWeek, please click here.*
*Usernames and passwords are required.
The demise of print stalwarts, such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the San Francisco Chronicle, and the continued drumbeat of staff reductions has cast a cloud over the media industry, with 62% of newspaper journalists anticipating "declines in print circulation and increased focus on the Web" over the next three years. This number is consistent with findings from 2008. In line with this sentiment, 42% of print reporters expect to see "reductions in staff" as compared to 26% expressing the same concern last year.
Given the uncertainty throughout the industry, 50% of media professionals are now considering a career outside of journalism.
Continuing a trend from last year's survey, 20% of media professionals report increased responsibilities outside of their official duties, with 70% of respondents indicating a heavier workload this year than last. The primary cause of the increased workload is the need to contribute to online reporting. Of those surveyed, 68% are now tasked with writing for online news sections, compared to 38% in 2008. Further, 28% of media respondents are blogging for their traditional publication, a 6% increase from 2008.
• Relationship between Editorial and Advertising
With commercial pressure increasing throughout the industry, the survey found that the wall between editorial and advertising is not as clear as it had been in the past. Fifty-six percent of print magazine professionals suggested that there is a "slight to heavy" influence of advertising on editorial content while 43% of TV professionals indicated a similar pressure.
• Blogs & Reporting
While more reporters in this year's survey maintain a blog presence as compared to last year (43% versus 36%), the percentage of journalists who use blogs for research remains relatively low. According to the 2009 survey, 61% of media professionals rarely or never use blogs for research. This compares to 55% from 2008.
Also noteworthy, approximately half of all bloggers surveyed worked for traditional media companies in the past. However, only 37% believe themselves to be journalists in their present occupation.
• Reporters & Social Media
Reporters' use of social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, increased significantly from 2008 to 2009. Of those surveyed, 58% are on Facebook and 51% have a LinkedIn profile, compared with 29% and 32% last year. Twenty-two percent of journalists are also on Twitter. The number of journalists not participating in social media is now a clear minority, with 23% saying they do not have a social network profile. In 2008, the number was 46%.
• Relationship to PR Professionals
The majority of journalists responding prefer PR professionals to pitch them by e-mail with 80% listing it as their favored method. This is consistent with last year's findings. Also consistent with the 2008 survey is the contention among reporters that a low percentage of pitches lead to a story due to the belief that most pitches are unrelated to the media professional's area of interest.
Despite the low success rate, only 7% of respondents said they would prefer not to be contacted by PR pros at all, indicating that public relations is a necessary component of journalism. Related to the rise in social networking, 31% of media professionals have been pitched via a social network, such as Facebook or Twitter.
If you'd like to learn more about the results of this survey, please join us for our upcoming webinar on April 29. Click here to register for this event.