Journalists Face Growing Mistrust And Workloads, Study Finds

Journalists are under increasing pressure to drive clicks, produce more content and cope with increasing distrust, judging by "2022 State of the Media," a study by the PR communications platform Cision. 

Cision surveyed more than 3,800 journalists across 2,160 media outlets in 17 regions around the world. And while the apparent goal was to find out how PR professionals can better serve reporters, the study offers insights into the problems news reporters face.

Journalists worldwide list the following as their biggest challenges in the last 12 months:

  • Maintaining credibility as a trusted news source/combating accusations of “fake news”— picked by 32% of respondents
  • Lack of staffing and resources—16%
  • Declining advertising and circulation revenues—16%
  • Social networks and influencers bypassing traditional media—14%
  • Blurring lines between editorial and advertising—10% 
  • Attacks on freedom of the press—8% 
  • Other—12%



Perhaps the greatest issue is maintaining credibility In North America, where 61% of journalists agree  the public has lost trust in the media.  

In contrast, 55% of respondents in Europe agree, versus 32% in APAC. In fact, 55% in the latter region say trust in the media has not substantially changed, and 14% feel it has improved. 

Another challenge is the growing workload. Of reporters polled, 29% file 10 or more stories per week, 36% from four to nine, and 34% from one to three. Moreover, 43% cover five beats or more.  

One more issue is the focus on audience metrics—a growing concern in a period of declining advertising and circulation revenues. 

Among journalists, 59% agree that the availability of detailed metrics has changed the way they evaluate stories, with 19% strongly agreeing. Another 29% are neutral, while 12% disagree.

Most journalists are also increasingly using multimedia elements, including:

  • Images—81% 
  • Videos—47% 
  • Infographics—41% 
  • Social media posts—39% 
  • Livestreams—16%
  • Web polls—15% 
  • Brand logos—15% 
  • User- generated content—13% 
  • Quizzes—6%
  • Animated gifts—6% 

Meanwhile, 18% say their relationships with PR people have gotten more valuable over the past year. Another 68% say they are the same, and 14% feel they have declined. 

Here is what journalists need from the PR side to make their jobs easier:  

  • Understand my target audience, and what they find relevant—63%
  • Provide me with data and expert sources when I need them—57%
  • Stop spamming me—43%
  • Provide short pitches with quick facts that enable me to produce short-form content quickly—29%
  • Understand and respect my deadlines—29% 
  • Include multimedia assets with their pitches and press releases—22%
  • Make themselves more easily accessible—17%
  • Provide their cell number to me since most people are working remotely and are tougher to reach—10%
  • Other—9% 

Cision offers this tip: “If a journalist is using social media, it’s not likely they are on the hunt for a PR pitch.”  

1 comment about "Journalists Face Growing Mistrust And Workloads, Study Finds".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, May 26, 2022 at 10:39 a.m.

    Typical: "Cover 12 entities and do so with multiplatform components and social media."

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