Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Oriella Survey: Journalists Are Working Harder, Better, Faster, Longer

Posted by Tom Foremski - July 6, 2010

The Oriella PR network concluded its third annual survey of journalists. This year the survey was expanded beyond Western Europe to Eastern Europe, the US and Brazil. More than 770 journalists in 21 countries responded.

Here are some key findings:

- Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) to this year’s study said they are expected to produce more content than before.

- One in three (30 percent) are working longer hours.

- Nearly half (46 percent) said their work has improved as a result of digital and social media – an increase from 39 percent in 2009.

- Just 17 percent said their job satisfaction had declined as a result.


Many have concerns over the economic effects on their profession:

- Forty percent of the respondents expect advertising revenues to fall by more than a tenth.

- Over half of the respondents expressed the belief that their publications’ current offline formats may fold at some point in the future (2009 figure: 32 percent).

- 40 percent – and more than half of those polled in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Brazil and Eastern Europe - believed that the transition to new media would create new opportunities.

Their employers are looking for new forms of revenue:

- growing numbers of publications are researching, or have implemented paid-content strategies. Nearly one respondent in four (22 percent) said their publication is researching or has launched smart phone apps in order to deliver paid-content to mobile users.

- 16 percent are researching paid-content for iPads and e-readers.

-Twenty-five percent said their publication is considering flat-rate subscriptions and nearly a third (30 percent) only offer online content to existing print subscribers.

- Fewer than 15 percent of the journalists surveyed said their publications support no social or digital media at all – down from nearly a quarter two years ago.

- Adoption of blogs and Twitter has continued to grow, with 47 percent saying their publications have journalist-authored blogs, and 40 percent saying their publications use Twitter.

Shannon Latta, co-head of the Oriella PR Network and partner at Horn Group, said: “It is clear that publications see the greatest opportunities in their digital operations – not just in terms of offering new platforms for publishing content, but also in terms of making that content pay.”

Ms. Latta added:"As these changes play out in newsrooms, communicators should expect journalists to become more demanding: their content needs to be high quality to attract the revenues media bosses expect."

Her conclusion that journalists will be focused on high quality content runs counter to the current pressure on journalists to "pump" stories out and the move toward large scale "content farms" where large amounts of low quality content is created.

The problem with the current page view economic model is that a page view is a page view and there is no reward for quality.

(The full report can be downloaded from: www.orielladigitaljournalism.com (registration required).)
Additional Info:

The Oriella PR Network is an alliance of 17 communications agencies in 20 countries around the world.


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