Muck Rack survey: Two out of three journalists have been impacted by economic uncertainty

Disinformation and lack of trust are top concerns for journalists in 2023


One in five journalists have switched jobs or made a career change due to the economy, according to new survey results from Muck Rack, the public relations management (PRM) platform that helps organizations find the right journalists to pitch, monitor and report on media coverage and prove the value of earned media.

Muck Rack’s sixth annual State of Journalism report, which surveyed more than 2,200 journalists to understand the current state of journalism and the future of the industry, also found layoffs and furloughs have increased the workload for about 20% of journalists.

Half of journalists cited disinformation and lack of funding as top concerns, followed by trust in journalism (40%) and lack of time to cover stories thoughtfully (33%). While two out of three journalists say their work has been impacted by economic uncertainty and 51% make $70,000 or less a year, more than half are optimistic about the profession.

“With the industry facing issues like wavering trust in the media, threats to free press and lack of funding, it's hard to recall a more challenging time for journalism,” said Gregory Galant, cofounder and CEO of Muck Rack. “This survey sheds light on the deep responsibility journalists have to deliver news and information to the public and how they’re managing it with limited resources. Our aim in releasing this data is to help PR teams be successful when working with the journalism community, approaching relationships with empathy, patience and real insight into how journalism gets made.”

Short-form video will rise in popularity

Almost half of journalists believe short-form video will grow in popularity in 2023, followed by podcasts (25%), and newsletters (13%).

Twitter has been the most used social platform for journalists for as long as we’ve conducted this survey, with 90% of journalists using the platform to follow news, promote their own work or find sources. However, LinkedIn and YouTube have journalists' attention: 36% plan to spend more time on LinkedIn and 30% say the same about YouTube.

Pitching preferences

Journalists are still busier than ever, covering an average of four beats. One in five journalists receive upwards of 50 pitches per week and nearly half of journalists (47%) create more than five stories per week.

While most journalists haven’t changed their habits, another 7% say they’re more likely to respond to pitches now compared to last year. The top reason for pitch rejection (24%) continues to be lack of personalization, followed by bad timing (22%). According to the survey, preferred pitches are:

  • Sent via 1:1 email before noon and 300 words or less
  • Offered as an exclusive or connected to a trending story
  • Followed up on within 3-7 days

When it comes to credible sources, CEOs have fallen out of favor after dropping 12% in two years. Eighty percent of journalists consider academic experts the most reliable and PR pros held steady with about half of journalists finding them a good source.


The self-administered survey collected 2,226 responses from Jan. 1 until Feb. 6. The majority of respondents came from U.S.-based journalists, and Asia, Africa and Europe were also represented.

Muck Rack distributed the survey with the help of 15 research partners including Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists and Online News Association.

About Muck Rack:

Muck Rack’s Public Relations Management (PRM) platform enables thousands of organizations including Google, International Rescue Committee, Pfizer, Golin, Zapier and Duolingo to build trust, tell their stories and prove the value of earned media through its media database and monitoring and reporting features. Journalists use Muck Rack’s free tools to showcase their portfolios, analyze news about any topic and measure the impact of their stories. Learn more at


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