STUDY: Bloggers Now Outnumber Traditional Journalists


Those who make the PR industry run don’t just hear a lot about how dramatically the media is changing — they see it every day.

That said, it’s always interesting to view those observations quantified in data form.

The most recent media survey conducted by our friends at Business Wire shows us, in charts and graphs and numbers drawn from interviews with 300 North American journalists, how “newsrooms” around the country have changed. In fact, more writers now work for blogs like the one you’re currently reading than for more traditional media outlets.

More on that after the jump.

Here’s the biggie: 44% of the 300 journalists surveyed work digitally, while an equal number work for old-school magazines or newspapers.


That’s not to say that they call themselves “bloggers”, though. There’s a reason for that, and it relates to our recent post on the word “flack”. Quite a few within the media sphere consider the word to denote a less high-minded profession, and there’s frankly a good reason for that.

blog blog

This is mostly just semantics, though: we call ourselves “blogger” over beers at the neighborhood watering hole, but our LinkedIn says “Senior Editor”, thanks.

Here’s another important, if hardly shocking, truth: we’re getting older.

blog age

Another one you can appreciate: metrics. When asked which numbers they use to measure the success of a given story:

  • 52.6 percent say pageviews
  • 41.6 percent say social media activity
  • 24.5 percent say the number of comments, because ewww
  • 26.3 percent don’t even try, saying “I don’t know.

Now for some stats that contradict all those “the press release is dead” articles:

  • 89.1 percent had used info from a release to put a news item together over the preceding week
  • 61.7 percent had done so in the preceding 24 hours

Nearly 70 percent said that a lack of newswire-distributed releases would make their jobs harder. The three most common elements they value in those releases?

  • Breaking news
  • Interesting angles
  • Supporting facts

Multimedia elements don’t seem to be quite as important as you might think, either: 44.2 percent say they’re no more likely to use a release with media included.

That said, if you do want to include some goodies, here’s what the journalists value most: photos and infographics.


Also: the overwhelming majority of journalists are NOT cool with pitches delivered via social media. Less than 10 percent said they’d “like” to receive a story via Facebook, and the numbers for Twitter (16.8 percent) and LinkedIn (23.4 percent) weren’t much higher.

Finally, these survey participants find great value in company newsrooms:

  • 77 percent go to online newsrooms when researching a company
  • 33.6 percent visit company blogs
  • 42 percent check out social media feeds

While in said newsrooms, 88 percent of journalists look for…you guessed it, press releases.

If there’s one thing that surprises us most about this survey, it’s that things stay mostly the same despite all the reports of dramatic change. People may call us “bloggers” now, but we still look for the same types of information from the same (human) sources. We just visit different places to find the stuff we need.

What do we think of the survey?

Here’s the accompanying video:

*For the record, not all bloggers look like the guy in the stock photo above. Some of us have real facial hair.