Survey Finds Journalists Are Working More — and Working More Online

By: E&P Staff

The shift from print to online is giving journalists more responsibility, changing job requirements, and more awareness of the commercial side of the business, according to the “2008 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey” announced today.

A total of 1,231 people — including newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, and online journalists — were polled.

Some of the key findings:

— Fifty-seven percent of respondents feel they are being asked to work more today that in the past few years, while 56% say they are contributing to other mediums outside of their official duty. For instance, 39% of newspaper journalists are expected to contribute to the online version of their publication.

— Sixty-seven percent of newspaper journalists anticipate “declines in print circulation and increased focus on the Web” over the next three years. Also, 38% of newspaper reporters expect to see “reductions in staff” over the next three years.

— Despite the uncertainty in the industry, few reporters believe their publications in their current state will disappear. Sixty-three percent of print journalists feel their publication will endure “indefinitely” in its current state.

— When asked to identify the most important aspect of their work, 91% of respondents say “make my publication successful by creating appealing content for its audiences” — ahead of “educate and inform the masses,” “break news,” and “chronicle events as they happen.” This finding, says the survey, suggests a significant level of commercial awareness on the part of journalists.

— Seventy percent of respondents say public opinion of journalists has gotten worse during the past five years, and 52% believe the general public has a “somewhat negative” opinion of journalists.

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

— Nearly 90% of respondents said e-mail is their favored method for being contacted by PR people. Fewer than 7% said they would prefer not to be contacted by PR people. Eighty-six percent of bloggers report they currently receive pitches from PR people, with 24% saying these pitches never result in a story and 49% saying the pitches are related to what they cover only 0-25% of the time.

PR Newswire, which provides news releases and other content to outlets such as newspapers, was founded in 1954. PRWeek started in 1998.

A full review of the survey results will appear in PRWeek this Monday. To see that coverage, click here.

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