Article

Kate Parker
Kate Parker 20 May 2016
Categories Advertising, B2B, Content

Three Factors Changing the Journalism & Media Landscape

Whether you’re a journalist yourself, in PR or otherwise involved in communications, the journalism of the future is likely to rely on a complex web of independent freelancers. But what will that world look like?

Having shuttered its print operations in April, the UK’s Independent marks only the latest casualty in the decade-long decline of the newspaper industry. Taken as a whole, traditional journalism’s revenue has fallen sharply since its peak in 2005, with ad revenue alone dropping nearly 38% in that time.

On both sides of the Atlantic, corporate journalism continues the struggle to transition to digital-only revenue models, and in the US nearly 40% of publications have pivoted to focus on their online portals.

Whether you’re a journalist yourself, in PR or otherwise involved in communications, the journalism of the future is likely to rely on a complex web of independent freelancers. But what will that world look like?

What Defines a Journalist?

Is a blogger a journalist? Does being a journalist require membership in an industry union? Does it require a journalism degree?

Across the industry, the boundaries of journalism are in flux, but a Mynewsdesk survey revealed that most professional respondents are very willing to adopt a more organic definition of “professional journalism.”

Across every country, respondents decisively agreed that a journalist is simply someone who:

  • Works with content
  • Operates with a goal to be objective
  • Tells a story
  • Has an audience

A full 58% of respondents said a blogger can sometimes be considered a bona fide journalist, and 54% said anybody who produces content for a brand’s publication can be considered a journalist. Union membership is also not important in the eyes of most professionals, with the exception of Denmark, where two-thirds of respondents said it was necessary.

A Future for Freelancers

An overwhelming 90% of respondents said that they expect media companies to hire more freelancers than full-time journalists in the future. With a dueling mandate to both cut costs and create more content, many media publishers see personnel reductions as the only plausible solution. As a result, 73% of journalists predict a decline in the quality of journalism over the next five years.

But whether or not those developments lead to less high-quality journalism, the staffing phenomenon itself is undeniable. Deborah Blum, director of MIT’s Knight Science Journalism Program, said, “All journalists working today need to know something about the freelance business because it’s such a large part of the business.”

Broader Skill Sets for Journalists

One of the biggest trends in the industry is the growing requirement for journalists to wear multiple hats in order to thrive. Indeed, 97% of respondents said journalists will need to have more than just writing skills and must be versatile enough to also successfully edit and promote themselves and their work on social media.

Skills as a photographer, data analyst, video producer and graphic designer were also frequently mentioned, outlining a veritable Swiss army knife of qualifications that were considered extra-disciplinary less than a decade ago.

A Media Channel of One

In a world where salaried newsrooms give way to transient freelancers, individual journalists are expected to rely more on their individual brand than that of their publishers. With the abundance of channels and free platforms for publishing, journalists are increasingly creating their own networks of followers who read their work, wherever it happens to currently reside.

As a whole, journalism is moving away from the power of media institutions, focusing instead on “cults of personality.” Said one respondent to the Mynewsdesk survey, “If it’s done right, journalists will become their own media. People want to follow people they know and trust.”

With responses from more than 2,000 journalists in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Canada and Singapore, Mynewsdesk's new eBook opens the door on the world of journalism and how future developments will affect the work of communicators around the world.

To learn more about how journalists and communicators view the landscape ahead, get your copy of “Journalism Trends 2016” today.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Your Project Management Sucks. Here's Why.

Your Project Management Sucks. Here's Why.

For every amazing finished project produced, there is a project management process put in place that made it happen. The question is -- Are you using the process that’s right for you?

Margo Romanowski
Margo Romanowski 11 October 2017
Read more
These 5 Changes Are Coming For Your Site in 2018. Are You Ready?

These 5 Changes Are Coming For Your Site in 2018. Are You Ready?

Let's face it, the Internet is ever-changing. Some changes you can’t predict: at the start of 2011, no one realized that responsive would practically be a requirement by the end of the year. But some changes are known and scheduled. Let’s look at some of the biggest changes that may affect the way your company communicates through digital channels.

Mike Norman
Mike Norman 13 October 2017
Read more
Three things we learned at the Festival of Marketing

Three things we learned at the Festival of Marketing

Last week Digital Doughnut joined hundreds of marketers attending the Festival of Marketing at Tobacco Dock in East London, to hear 160 hours of presentations and panel discussions spread over two days.

Linus Gregoriadis
Linus Gregoriadis 9 October 2017
Read more