Journalists Optimistic About Online Growth, Doubtful About Online Quality

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press published a new report on journalists’ feelings regarding the movement from print to online. Surveying journalists who largely come from websites linked to legacy media, the report finds that most journalists are optimistic that news websites will turn a profit. As seen in this first graph:

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Most of their hopes are still pinned on ad revenue. As seen here:

The real concern lies with the quality of journalism. Read more about it after the jump.

Most than 57 percent of respondents believe that the Internet is “changing the fundamental values of journalism” and that change was mostly viewed as negative. Around 45 percent cited a loosening of standards and less careful reporting when asked to describe what values they believed were changing.

“The focus is more on getting the news out before checking its accuracy, and this is weakening journalism’s credibility,” wrote one anonymous editor. “A reversion to checking and double-checking is needed, especially since mistakes can last forever online.”

Other changes that were seen as negative were making journalism more superficial (11 percent believed this was occurring online) and influence from advertisers and other business-side people (8 percent feared this was happening).

All in all the report is a mixed bag of pros and cons regarding this new move to online publication. While most agreed it was a financial inevitability (and ultimately would turn a profit) they worry about the art of a legacy they have toiled so hard to create.