PRWeek Survey Shows Media Writers Move to Online Content

By April 01, 2010

Media and PR practitioners participated in the 2010 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey, documenting the evolution of the media industry and its effects on journalists. While job security and ever-shrinking budgets are a major issue w

ithin the industry, the survey findings remain optimistic. As Sarah Skerik, vice president of social media at Newswire explains, "the rapid growth of online reporting and the continued adoption of social media make it possible to find and connect with audiences online, presenting journalists and communicators with many new opportunities."

Over seventy percent of respondents this year indicate a heavier workload compared to last year. 58 percent state that the number of stories that they are responsible has increased. The primary cause of this increase is due to the need for online reporting. While 62 percent must write for online news sections, 39 percent contribute to their publication's blog, and 37 percent to their Twitter feed.

As for work environment, 31 percent of respondents have been affected by staff cuts or layoffs over the past three years, up from 22 percent in 2009. Smaller budgets was cited by 29 percent as impacting the work of those surveyed.

The shift from print to online is seen as the primary industry driver for the next three years, predicted to continue for the next three years. A key concern of magazine and newspaper journalists were "reduction in staff" at 28 percent. Reporters must be feeling more secure in their positions than last year, when that number reached 42 percent.

Respondents see educating and informing the masses as their success, as half of them indicated. One in five identify their primary goal to "break news and chronicle events as they happen," much more than 2009's one in twenty. PR Newswire interprets this finding as indicative of a growing premium on being first with news, driven by online reporting growth and the "24/7 news cycle."

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