Survey: Half of Journalists Think Their Offline Publications Will Eventually Fold

journalists and twitterJournalists appear to be reaching an equilibrium of sorts between print and digital media – an “equilibrium of sorts” because it appears the scales are tipped heavily in favor of going digital. According to a recent report by Oriella PR Network, journalists see their offline publications as risky endeavors in the current economy, with over half of those surveyed predicting the demise of their print, publication or TV media sometime in the future.

According to the Oriella Digital Journalism Report, journalists’ attitudes towards the current state of the media is rather bleak. In addition to over half of them predicting the downfall of their offline publications, one quarter believes that media in general, whether on- or off-line, will shrink significantly.

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Many media-hawks predict that traditional media will indeed die out, while new media will rise up and take its place. The journalists polled for this report bear this out: 40 percent say that the shift to new media will bring new opportunities. However, over 50 percent of respondents think that online media are still far from profitable business models, and over 40 percent believe that the reliance on PR-content will increase. Combined, these results show mixed feelings towards new media: it might open new doors, but journalists aren’t quite sure those doors lead to greener pastures.

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Journalists are certainly embracing social media, whatever their opinion of where it is taking the industry. Only 15 percent of those polled reported that they had no social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), compared to the 2009 survey which showed 25% as having no social media presence. Over 770 journalists in 21 countries responded to this poll, conducted in May and June of 2010.

It appears as though journalists are coming to terms with the direction of the media industry. While there will always be some resistance to change, it is encouraging to see journalists using, adapting to, and, in turn, shaping new media. The only way the industry can stabilize is if its insiders learn to adapt, and eventually lead the way forward.