For our 11th report, we surveyed more than 3,200 journalists from 15 countries around the globe, making it our biggest one yet! Once COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, we also reached back out to journalists to see how it was affecting them.
1. COVID-19: the impact
Like many other industries, the pandemic has had a huge effect on the media. There are a few ways PR pros can help things run smoothly and build on the relationship in these difficult times. The use of email to pitch to journalists has become even more important now with a heavier workload. Expert video interviews are highly regarded in a time when we’re all on our devices at home, and new (positive) angles on COVID-19 stories are growing popular during the crisis.
2. Distrust in the media is decreasing
In the eyes of journalists, the public’s trust in the media is growing. According to our 2020 global data, journalists believe that eliminating themselves from the ‘fake news’ stigma means ensuring the content they create is 100% accurate. Much like the views of last year’s report, providing exact content is more important than revenue, exclusivity, or being the first to publish the story.
3. Bias in the media
Journalists continue to tackle bias in their industry and in their own work. We look at the relationship between bias and reporters and discuss how PR and communications professionals can address this difficult topic.
We also look at responses on bias in journalists' own words, including this one, which sums things up pretty well:
“All media is biased because it's run by humans.”
4. Social media and technology
In 2019, 38% of journalists agreed that social media algorithms will change the way they work the most. Now, in 2020, 41% of journalists believe this to be the case.
The modern journalist may find themselves competing with the social media content flow while juggling other interests such as reporting on the facts of a story while seeking to increase readership and engagement of their work (often via social channels).
Meanwhile, only 15% see AI/machine learning as the most important technology to affect the industry, down from 19% last year.
5. The media ecosystem
Measuring success is becoming more and more crucial in an ever-changing media environment. With data developing, more organisations are looking for direct links to revenue impact – and content is under observation. Being able to prove that content is leading to subscriptions rather than potentially unread shares by third parties is now more valuable than ever.
2020 has already been a challenging year to navigate. Let's all work better together, especially in these uncertain times.