Pew Research reports most journalists are satisfied with their work

Study shows journalists are more positive about their reporting than the public is


Many professions are challenging, and those challenges often attract people to a particular career. Journalism requires a tough skin, a curious intellect and a passion for supporting the principles of American democracy: free speech and independent dissemination of news and information.

Despite widespread attacks on those principles and fundamental changes to the news industry, 77% of U.S. journalists responding to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey said they “would pursue a career in journalism again,” 75% “are extremely or very proud of their work” and 70% ”are very or somewhat satisfied with their job.”

Conversely, the surveyed journalists were not blind to the turmoil in their industry. Pew found 72% “use a negative word to describe the news industry,” 57% “are extremely or very concerned about future restrictions on press freedoms” and 71% “say made-up news and information is a very big problem.”

Although more than three-quarters of the journalists Pew surveyed said they see information they think is false or “created,” 71% are extremely or very confident they can recognize it.

Jeffrey Gottfried, senior researcher of Pew’s News & Information team, which has conducted a series of surveys about the state of news, information and journalism for many years, said the newest survey continued to show a disconnect between journalists and the public on several issues.

“We wanted to better understand the issue of ‘both sideism.’ Just more than half, or 55%, of journalists said every side does not always deserve equal coverage. However, 76% of the public said journalists should always strive to give every side equal coverage,” Gottfried said.

Another issue with a significant disparity between journalists and the public is people with the same political views obtaining their news from the same outlet. Thirty-nine percent of the public told Pew this was a major problem, compared to 75% of journalists.

Being harassed or even threatened isn’t new to journalists and a primary reason a thick skin is essential for their jobs. The digital age and social media specifically have exacerbated such harassment.

The surveyed journalists are clearly conflicted about the use of social media. Although 67% said it negatively impacts journalism, 87% of those who use social media for their job said it helps promote stories, 79% said it is where they find sources and 75% use it to identify potential story topics.

“Although social media is a positive tool for many journalists, 42% told us they were harassed or threatened by someone external to their organization during the past 12 months, and 78% said at least one of those incidents occurred on social media,” Gottfried added.

Diversity is a major topic addressed by many organizations, businesses and American newsrooms. The Pew study found slightly more than twice as many journalists said their news outlets had achieved gender diversity than racial/ethnic diversity.

According to Gottfried, his team had to develop the survey sample since there is no extensive list of all journalists. Two commercial databases and many supplemental lists of news organizations were used so the study would include the largest and smallest news organizations, radio stations, ethnic media and other types of media in large and small markets.

For more information and the complete 94-page report, visit

Bob Sillick has held many senior positions and served a myriad of clients during his 47 years in marketing and advertising. He has been a freelance/contract content researcher, writer, editor and manager since 2010. He can be reached at


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