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How Journalists Really Feel About the Digital Evolution

Biggest audience is online, but print is where the prestige is

It’s a no-brainer that digital technology is impacting newsgathering and reporting globally. How much? A survey of journalists worldwide by the Oriella PR Network, an alliance of PR agencies, found that 39 percent consider themselves “digital first,” meaning that they publish news as it breaks rather than waiting for the next print issue (see infographic).

Digital methods are key to tracking the effectiveness of journalists’ work; about 50 percent said they’re measured by the number of unique visits or views their articles receive, while scoops were cited by only 17 percent of respondents. Storytelling is migrating to digital formats, too. Almost half said they published videos produced in-house, up from 20 percent in 2011. Journalists are increasingly relying on social media and blogs for research as press releases and flacks lose importance.

However, while about half believe that their biggest audiences are online, only 20 percent believe their publications make more money from online than from print. Over half of journalists around the world feel print media still has more prestige (although exceptions included the U.S., where only 35 percent agree; and Canada and Russia). Perhaps the most surprising finding of all: For all the changes and associated headaches playing out in newsrooms around the world, 34 percent of journalists say they like their jobs more, even with 2012. 

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