Journalists Worry Most About Disinformation And Funding: Study

Journalists list disinformation and lack of funding as their biggest worries, and some fret about safety, judging by "The State of Journalism 2023," a study by Muck Rack.

Specifically, they are concerned about these issues:

  • Disinformation—50%
  • Lack of funding—50%
  • Trust in journalism/media—40%
  • Lack of tie to cover stories thoughtfully—33%
  • Lack of independence in news media—32%
  • Politicization and polarization of journalism—32%
  • News and media literacy—31%
  • Decreasing readership—31%
  • Journalist safety—30%
  • Competing for audience attention against too many other stories—30%

In addition, two thirds say their work has been affected by economic uncertainty. They say:

  • Economic uncertainty has not affected my reporting—33%
  • I’ve switched jobs or made a career change—22%
  • Layoffs/furloughs at my outlets (s) have increased 21%
  • More stories about the economy—21%
  • Personal layoff(s) have meant less work in general—18%
  • Less news to cover as companies postpone new releases—9%



Despite all this, 58% of journalists are optimistic about the profession. And 79% feel audience trust in their coverage has increased or stayed the same. 

Millennials and Gen Z are now the biggest target audiences for journalists. Asked to check off all that apply, the respondents listed:

  • Gen Z—41%
  • Millennial—57%
  • Gen X—52%
  • Boomer—43%
  • I don’t know—17%
  • Other—15%

On another front, half of all journalists have considered leaving Twitter. But only 28% plan to spend less time on it. On the contrary, 90% use Twitter, and 78% say it is the most valuable social network in their work, according to the study.

Reporters use Twitter for the following:

  • Follow the news—83%
  • Promote my work—78%
  • Find sources—69%
  • Connect with other journalists—67%
  • Connect with my audience/readers—61%
  • Discover new voices—48%
  • Share my opinion/point of view—43%

Where do reporters go first for news? They use:

  • Online newspapers or magazines—59%
  • Twitter—14%
  • Print newspapers or magazines—5%
  • Online newsletters—4%
  • Other—4%
  • TV/cable news—3%
  • Facebook—3%
  • Radio—2%
  • Podcasts—2%
  • Other social media—2%
  • LinkedIn—1%

U.S. journalists earn the following, including bonuses:

  • Less than $40k—20%
  • $40k-$70k—31%
  • $70k-$100k—20%
  • $100k-$150k—9%
  • $150k-$200k—4%
  • More than $250k—1%
  • Prefer not to say—19%

Muck Rack surveyed 2,226 journalists worldwide from Jan. 4 to Feb. 6. Of those polled, 46% report both online and in print, and 34% online only. Only 6% report primarily in print, 5% on TV, 3% on radio, 1% in video. And 3% say other. The full study can be accessed here. 

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