Apr 08, 2020 / in Best PracticesUS Blog / by Sarah Parker

Every year, Cision publishes our annual State of the Media Report. This report is based on survey data we collect from journalists across the globe. You can read the 2019 State of the Media Report here. 

This year - the report’s 11th year – we surveyed more than 3,200 journalists from 15 countries in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. It’s our biggest survey ever!  

But initially it didn’t include the one thing that has taken over everyone’s lives since early 2020: COVID-19. So we sent out more surveys to get some more data around how the novel coronavirus has specifically affected journalists and what comms and PR professionals can do to help them in this unprecedented time. We received 116 early responses we'll be featuring in a special section of the report.  

We’ll be publishing the full report soon, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what it will highlight. 

2020 State of the Media highlights 

If you’re a media consumer, then you’re probably not surprised that the results of this year’s survey were dominated by bad news. As we wrote earlier this year, people are tired. That hasn’t changed a few months into 2020, when the news looks increasingly negative. We’re dealing with a global pandemic, turbulent stock markets, and increasing geo-political tensions.  

And journalists feel that more acutely than most. Survey results suggest journalists feel media consumption is defined by exhaustion – people are worn out. One of the themes we’ll explore in this year’s report are practical ways to make the news less depressing. How can public relations and media work together to tell more happy stories? That’s not to say we should only focus on feel-good fluff, but that we can work harder to find more optimistic or encouraging news to help even the scales a little bit, especially as that fatigue is compounded by the COVID-19 news cycle.  

Journalists continue to deal with many challenges; the media industry is facing another difficult year. Most newsrooms are experiencing staffing and resource shortages, larger workloads, and ongoing issues with fake news and freedom of the press. Bias is a recurring theme – from conflicting but pervasive perceptions of systemic media bias to increased threats from intentional and unintentional misinformation.  

However, distrust in the media continues to decline globally in the eyes of journalists, for the fourth year in a row. That’s a bright spot in this year’s findings.  

A large section of the survey asks journalists for their feedback on how PR professionals can better reach them. Our full report will include myriad tips for pitching better, creating more impactful press releases, and just generally building more effective relationships with journalists. We’ll answer specific questions like:  

  • When and how should you send a pitch?  
  • What should you include in a pitch?  
  • How can you write emails that are more likely to get a response?  
  • How can you better understand a publication’s audience to craft a more relevant pitch?  

We’re excited to share the full results with you in the coming weeks.  

The 2020 State of the Media Report is coming soon. Watch this space or follow us on Twitter @Cision

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About Sarah Parker

Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for Cision, planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several different brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things social media strategy, the dynamic world of PR, and mastiffs.