The new normal for news - Have global media changed forever - Oriella PR Network global digital journalism study 2013
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The new normal for news - Have global media changed forever - Oriella PR Network global digital journalism study 2013

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Annual investigation into the role and impact of digital media in newsrooms and news-gathering worldwide. The study is based on a survey ...

Annual investigation into the role and impact of digital media in newsrooms and news-gathering worldwide. The study is based on a survey
of over 500 journalists spanning 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA), and finds digital media well entrenched in all countries, albeit in very different ways.

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The new normal for news - Have global media changed forever - Oriella PR Network global digital journalism study 2013 The new normal for news - Have global media changed forever - Oriella PR Network global digital journalism study 2013 Document Transcript

  • 1Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 The New Normal for news Have global media changed forever? Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013
  • 2Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 the new normal for news have global media changed forever? Executive Summary The 2013 Oriella Digital Journalism, our sixth annual investigation into the role and impact of digital media in newsrooms and news-gathering worldwide, in many senses marks a watershed. The study is based on a survey of over 500 journalists spanning 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA), and finds digital media well entrenched in all countries, albeit in very different ways. More respondents than ever believe their largest readership is now online rather than off, and their performance is overwhelmingly evaluated based on digital metrics like unique visitors. These developments reflect the significant investments proprietors have made in their digital platforms, as the world turns away from print media and towards digital content. As a result the way journalists work has changed dramatically: • ‘Digital first’ publishing is changing the rules of the journalism game. A third of respondents believes their title is ‘digital first’ – in other words they break news as it happens online, rather than holding it until the next edition. A quarter say they develop multiple versions of the same story as it develops. And, nearly half of the journalists in our survey say their title now produces its own video material in-house. • Mobile is growing in popularity as a monetisation model - The models for generating revenue via digital journalism are changing too; paid-for smartphone apps for rich media content are rising in popularity while the dominant monetisation model – ad-supported content – have tailed off somewhat. • Digital media has cemented its role within the journalistic arsenal. The use of blogs and microblogs to source and verify news stories is broadly in line with last year – but only when the sources behind those feeds are known to the journalists. Journalists’ personal use of social media is also growing. For the first time, the proportion of journalists active on Twitter in a personal capacity has passed the fifty percent mark, and a third have their own blogs. • For journalists, social media means more than blogs and Twitter – in particular, the use of Google Plus, widely lampooned in many areas of mainstream media, is remarkably popular, both with media brands and journalists themselves. • In spite of all the new technology, traditional values remain. The most prized source of news and validation are conversations with industry insiders. Expert spokespeople such as analysts and academics are now the first place journalists go to in order to get their news. And the most trusted sources are academics and technical experts, rather than executives, marketers and political figures. These trends, we believe, indicate the true emergence of digital journalism as a mainstream force in world media – a ‘New Normal for News’, as we have dubbed it. Media tactics which just a few years ago would have worked per- fectly well, can no longer be relied on to the same extent as before. The trend towards ‘digital first’ publishing and mobile content all have big implications for how brands communicate. We explore the developments, the challenges and the op- portunities they bring, throughout the report, and provide some actionable guidance based on our conclusions, in the Summary. Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013
  • 3Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Chapter one: global media: an industry in flux Uncertainty remains In the last few iterations of the Oriella Digital Journalism Study, we have seen the machinations of the global economy playing out in newsrooms and editorial offices. Last year, for example, the picture was far more upbeat in the developing markets – Brazil, Russia and China – than in either Europe or North America. More journalists in those countries reported an increase in journalist numbers and higher revenues than the other regions we surveyed. This year’s picture is more nuanced. In contrast the country whose journalists are most bullish about revenues is the USA, where 52 per cent of the media surveyed believed their revenues would increase – with one in three anticipating revenue growth of ten per cent or more. This sits in stark comparison with the global average of 36 per cent. The situation is different again when it comes to staffing levels. This year, Germany was the only country where those predicting staff levels would increase was higher than those predicting a decline. In all other countries, including China, India, Brazil, the USA and Canada, those predicting a decline in staff numbers outnumbered those who disagreed by at least two to one. Indeed, the operating environment for media globally is challenging. In developing markets, broadband internet adoption is accelerating: in Brazil, 46 per cent of the population now has internet access, while adoption in China stands at 42 per cent1 . As a result, media consumption is likely to shift online, away from print – much as it has in Europe and North America. Data from the advertising industry supports this view. The WARC Consensus Ad Forecast for 2013 predicts internet advertising will see the strongest growth this year, with predicted growth rate of 13 per cent2 . By contrast, newspaper display advertising is expected to decline by 2.7 per cent. The uncertain outlook for mainstream media is also made clear by a sharp increase in concern among those surveyed that their publication may be taken off the market. This year, nearly one in five agreed this was a concern, compared with one in eight a year ago. Digital media attract eyeballs and advertisers but lack prestige One of the goals of this study has been to track the relative fortunes of print and digital media formats. We do this by asking journalists where they believe they have the largest audience. This year’s study is in line with our findings in 2011 and 2012: roughly half of respondents globally agree their largest audiences are online. Journalists are however dubious as to the financial merits of digital publishing. Only 20 per cent of respondents worldwide agree that their publication earns more money online than from print, and 44 per cent disagree. This is likely a reflection of the substantial investments by media groups in digital depressing their overall revenues. The New York Times Company and Axel Springer in Germany are examples of companies which have announced reduced profits recently – partly as a result of increased investment in digital platforms. As we will see later in this report, digital metrics have become the chief means used by publications to track the effectiveness of their journalists’ work. India and Sweden are the outliers when it comes to print media consumption –69 per cent of respondents in Sweden, and 61 per cent in India, think their largest audiences consume their traditional print or broadcast format. The UK comes a distant third, at 45 per cent, while journalists in France, China, the USA, Brazil and Canada now believe their largest audiences are now online. However, when asked about the prestige of print media in their countries, a contrary trend emerges. Globally, over half of the journalists surveyed agreed that print media were more prestigious in their countries. It is interesting to note the countries where this view was not supported: the USA, 35 per cent, Canada, 29 per cent, and Russia, where not a single journalist agreed print was more prestigious than online media. In all of these countries, online news sites and blogs are well-established in the media mix – to an extent due to their huge geographical expanse. 1 www.internetworldstats.com; World Bank 2 WARC 2013
  • 4Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 ‘Digital First’ – where print and broadcast media meet The past year has seen many respected media groups declare themselves ‘digital first’ titles. That is, they will publish news online as it breaks, rather than holding key stories over to the next print edition. We view digital first as a key catalyst for the new normal for news. In the UK, both the Guardian and the Financial Times announced shifts to a digital first model; Axel Springer in Germany is also investing heavily is this medium. These shifts are partly in recognition of the changing nature of their readership; partly to reduce costs. The survey broadly reflects the trend. Thirty-nine per cent of the journalists surveyed worldwide agree their title is now ‘digital first’, and the trend is especially pronounced in Canada, India, Russia, Italy and Sweden. As a result, more journalists are being asked to work harder: 46 per cent of the journalists surveyed this year agree they are expected to produce more content, up from 40 per cent in 2012. Further, over a quarter of respondents (28 per cent) this year say they produce multiple versions of the same story as it develops – compelling evidence that real-time digital journalism is going truly mainstream. The biggest responses here come from China: 64 per cent of journalists say they cover rolling news in this way, followed by Germany, with 44 per cent. Paradoxically, in the US, just 11 per cent of journalists agree. The growth of digital publishing also means more of journalists’ work is getting published as practical concerns over space and pagination become a thing of the past. We asked journalists roughly what proportion of their output had been published so far this year, compared with last year. Overall, 34 per cent of respondents say that nine- tenths or more of their output made print last year – not a bad number, until you find out that this year, the proportion has risen to 43 per cent. The trend is far more marked in Europe than Asia-Pacific or the Americas – perhaps a reflection of the tighter resources and competitive media markets in this region. Measuring success in the age of digital media For the first time this year, we asked journalists how the success of their material is evaluated. Once upon a time, editors would have looked at the number of pieces making print, and the number of exclusive articles, as a yardstick of journalist performance. Today, publications’ use of social media to promote their own content, plus the inherent ‘trackability’ of digital content, means publishers have a much wider variety of metrics they can look at. The message from this year’s survey is clear on the subject: the single most important measure are unique visits their articles receive – chosen half (50 per cent) of the journalists surveyed. This view is most strongly held in the US and Canada, with 68 per cent and 86 per cent respectively, plus Brazil (52 per cent), Sweden (58 per cent), Spain (58 per cent) and Russia (52 per cent). In the UK, the somewhat cruder measure of page views – highlighted by 51 per cent of British journalists, compared with 45 per cent who chose unique visits. Interestingly, France was the only country that evidences a deeper model of user engagement – 77 per cent of French journalists say they are measured by increases in social media followers, 74 per cent by how many likes or tweets they get. These figures suggest editors are looking beyond sheer traffic volumes to track the social media buzz around their coverage.
  • 5Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 How digital media determine news output Over the past six years, the Oriella Digital Journalism Study has charted the emergence of digital storytelling techniques that are complementing and sometimes even replacing the written word and photography. For the past three years, the content type that has grown the fastest is in-house video. This year, nearly half of the respondents surveyed – 49 per cent – said their titles published videos produced in-house. This is an increase of 13 per cent on 2012’s number, and a whopping 30 per cent higher than 2011, when just 20 per cent of respondents said their titles supported video made in-house. Demand for third-party produced video material has grown, but to nothing like the same extent: in 2012, 30 per cent of respondents said their titles used externally-produced video; this year the figure is 34 per cent. Infographics are another content asset that have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. This year, 28 per cent of respondents say their titles published infographics, pro- vided they were developed in-house. This is an increase on last year’s figure, albeit far smaller than for video. As with video, when infographics are produced externally, for example by brands, they prove slightly less popular, with 23 per cent of journalists saying they publish them. There is, however, evidence that some of these new story telling assets are losing their lustre in some countries. For example, 41 per cent of Chinese journalists told us in 2012 they published externally-produced infographics. This year, the figure has fallen to 20 per cent. If one could draw any broad conclusion from this part of the study it is that media are still searching – very hard – for the keys to success in the new normal for news. In Chapter Three, we explore how mobile is one monetisation ap- proach which is growing in popularity as advertising based business models start to fall from favour. Yet for all the technological change, some very ‘traditional’ values remain at the heart of journalism worldwide – values which have important implications for brands wishing to build relationships with them.
  • 6Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Chapter two: social media and news-gathering – a new world order emerges Over the past three years we have charted the impact social media have had on news-gathering itself. Last year, after observing how coverage of the intense politi- cal turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere had become dominated by social media content, our survey showed just how popular microblogs – and more traditional blogs –were for journalists looking for new stories, or substantiation for pieces they were already working on. This year the trend is broadly similar with 51 per cent of journalists worldwide say they use microblogs (e.g. Twit- ter, Facebook and Weibo) to gather new stories – provided the source behind those accounts is known and trusted by them (2012 figure, 54 per cent). As was the case in 2012, reliance on these sources falls dramatically when the sources are not known to the journalist: 25 per cent say they source stories in this way – the same proportion as 2012. The UK, Canada (both with 68 per cent), China (64 per cent) and France (55 per cent) are the countries where journalists have most readily embraced social media news- gathering – provided the sources are trustworthy. Use of social media by journalists to verify the stories they’re already working on is also in line with the 2012 findings. Globally, 42 per cent of journalists use trusted microblogs (2012, 43 per cent), and 37 per cent use blogs they know (2012, 38 per cent) to verify stories. Compared with other sources, usage of social media for news gathering and verification has changed the least since last year, indicating journalists – and their editors – remain broadly happy with the role of social media in their journalism. As last year, the most important sources of news and validation are conversations with industry insiders. In 2012, 63 per cent of journalists said they sourced news through these discussions, 62 per cent said they used them for validation. This year the figures have declined, but still outstrip social media channels: 59 per cent of respondents use them to source news, 54 per cent use them for validation. -15% -10% -5% 0% 5% CHANGEON2012 HOW DO YOU SOURCE AND VERIFY THE STORIES YOU WORK ON? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% FAMILIAR MICROBLOGS UNFAMILIAR MICROBLOGS FAMILIAR BLOGS UNFAMILIAR BLOGS INDUSTRY INSIDERS WIRE SERVICES CORPORATE SPOKESPEOPLE PR AGENCIES OTHER 2013 ALL COUNTRIES SOURCING 2013 ALL COUNTRIES VERIFYING HOW DO YOU SOURCE AND VERIFY THE STORIES YOU WORK ON?
  • 7Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 It is no surprise social media have become so invaluable to journalists: from President Barack Obama to Rupert Mur- doch and even the Pope, many of the key agenda-shapers on the world stage make their views public on social media. Yet when asked which single information source journalists would look at first when developing a story, a far more complicated picture emerges (see chart below). In 2011-2012, we tracked a significant shift away from pre-packaged stories in the form of press releases, and towards the one-to-one contact with expert spokespeople. That shift is continuing in 2013 – only seven per cent of respondents say their press release in-tray is their first port of call. But there has been a big fall in use of corporate spokespeople, too – from 24 per cent in 2012 to 16 per cent this year. Use of social media has increased substantially, and as a first port of call is now just one basis point behind the press release in-tray. Compare this with the picture in 2011, when press releases were the number one first source of infor- mation for journalists. Meanwhile use of third-party blogs and analysts has experienced slight growth compared with a year ago. Of all the countries surveyed, German journalists depend the most on press releases; meanwhile journalists in the UK, US, Sweden, Russia and China place the heaviest emphasis on contact with expert spokespeople. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% WHO WOULD BE YOUR FIRST PORT OF CALL WHEN RESEARCHING A STORY? (ONLY ONE RESPONSE ALLOWED) 2013 2012 2011 INTERVIEWS WITH CORPORATE SPOKESPEOPLE NEWSWIRES / AGENCIES OTHER MEDIA SITES MY PRESS RELEASE IN TRAY CORPORATE WEBSITES TWITTER / FACEBOOK / LINKEDIN THIRD PARTY BLOGS ANALYSTS PR AGENCIES OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SOURCES VIDEO SITES (E.G. YOUTUBE, VIMEO) CORPORATE BLOGS “Key agenda- shapers on the world stage make their views public on social media” WHO WOULD BE YOUR FIRST PORT OF CALL WHEN RESEARCHING A STORY? (ONLY ONE RESPONSE ALLOWED)
  • 8Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 The secret’s in the source Who are these ‘trusted sources’? This year we asked journalists to state how far they trusted different types of people in their research. Overall, the message is very clear: academics and other third-party experts (such as think-tanks) are by far the most respected sources of information for journalists, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they trust them. In second place, with 63 per cent, interestingly, come technical experts drawn from companies’ own ranks. CEOs and marketing leads, who one would associate more closely with delivering the corporate message, score far lower: just 41 per cent of respondents say they view CEOs as trustworthy, while for marketers the figure is a lowly 17 per cent. Indeed, more journalists say they distrust marketers – and only politicians come off worse (even PR agencies fare fractionally better)! There are some interesting variations in the data. CEOs are relatively well-regarded in Russia (52 per cent), France and Germany (both 48 per cent), the UK and Russia (both 45 per cent). Meanwhile analysts are seen as better sources by journalists in France (81 per cent), Canada (74 per cent), and Italy (57 per cent). Interestingly, in the emerging markets surveyed, charities and NGOs do not appear to be quite the beacons of trustworthiness many would expect. Just 18 per cent of Russian journalists, 34 per cent of Indian and 27 per cent of Brazilian journalists say they trust these organisations. The big exception is China, where 54 per cent of journalists say they trust NGOs – and indeed they rank second on the list of Chinese’ journalists most trusted sources. What’s more, Chinese journalists place greater trust in their own readers than any other country surveyed – 58 per cent. Coming after a succession of natural disasters, which caused hundreds of deaths and casualties, the trend is unsurprising. The implication is that journalists here are tiring of covering the ‘official versions’ from mainstream sources, and are ready to pay greater heed to sources that are closer to the story and have less interest in glossing over the details. -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 HOW FAR DO YOU TRUST THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR RESEARCH? Distrust Trust ACADEMIC OR EXPERT TECHNICAL EXPERT IN A COMPANY A PERSON LIKE YOU ANALYIST COMPANY CEO NGO OR CHARITY REGULATOR OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL A READER MEMBER OR PARLIAMENT OR CONGRESS PR PERSON – EITHER AGENCY OR IN-HOUSE HEAD OF MARKETING AN ORGANISATION’S ONLINE COMMUNITY MANAGER HOW FAR DO YOU TRUST THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR RESEARCH?
  • 9Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Has the age of the citizen journalist arrived? In many countries publications have re-jigged their working processes to give greater emphasis to user-generated content. Today, the first images of key events – from the horrific pictures of Syria’s civil war, to the meteorite strike in Siberia in early 2013 – often come from members of the public. Our survey finds that readers enjoy stronger credibility in the eyes of journalists than politicians, PR professionals or marketers. Respondents were also asked whether they agreed with the statement: ‘In my organisation, ‘citizen journalism’ carries as much credibility as conventional reporting’ – to which 20 per cent of respondents say yes. In other words, more than one in five of journalists in our study are prepared to give readers the same amount of professional credibility as themselves. Half (51%) disagreed with the statement. Admittedly, there is a huge amount of variety here. Citizen journalists get short shrift in the UK (3 per cent think they have as much credibility), Sweden (2 per cent), New Zealand (1 per cent) and Russia (0 per cent). However in France 58 per cent of respondents gave citizen journalists equal credibility and in Italy 36 per cent. Within BRICs, 43 per cent in India and 37 per cent in China said citizen journalists were equally credible. The implication is that in the new normal for news, citizen journalism is seen as a valuable source of information for journalists, particularly where it is hard to cover the story at source, and where there are concerns over the reliability of official information sources. Journalists are publishers, too! Journalists also see the value of social media for self- promotion. Over half (55 per cent) of those surveyed this year agree that blogs are a good way for journalists to build their personal profiles – compared to just 14 per cent who disagree, and around a third (34 per cent) actually possess one. Use of micro-blogs is somewhat more widespread. This year the proportion of journalists worldwide who say they use Twitter has reached 59 per cent. Usage of Twitter is highest in the UK, France, Spain, Canada, Australia and the US – and it is hardly surprising to see the Anglophone countries are such keen adopters. It is interesting, however, to note blogging is far more commonplace among journalists in India (64 per cent), while in some countries, notably Germany, social media are still very much a minority pursuit: barely a third of German journalists say they have personal Twitter accounts. The continued growth of social media by journalists in almost every country surveyed presents real opportunities for brands to cement strong relationships with key commentators in the new normal for news. The challenge is, of course, precisely how this cementing takes place. The study finds journalists overwhelmingly reject the idea of taking pre-formed story ‘packages’ from single organisations by nearly two to one. This suggests corporate communicators should concentrate their efforts harnessing their company’s (and their experts’) social networks to help qualify, shape and comment on stories originating elsewhere. JOURNALISTS WHO TWEET (2012) JOURNALISTS WHO TWEET (2013) 47% 59%
  • 10Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Google Plus comes of age? The search giant’s social media platform has come in for heavy criticism from mainstream user communities, but it has been en- thusiastically adopted by a number of media brands and journalists. As in 2012, just over a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) say they have a personal Google Plus page – though in two countries , France and the US, far greater proportions are Google Plus users (48 per cent and 61 per cent respectively). Publications, too, have gravitated towards it – in 2012, 21 per cent of respondents said their titles had a Google Plus page; this year the figure is 23 per cent. Some leading titles enjoy significant followings on Google Plus. For example, the Financial Times has 1.3m Google Plus followers, compared with a relatively paltry 430,000 on Facebook, and just 18,000 followers on LinkedIn3 . Considering the vast majority of the journalists surveyed are measured according to visits to their articles, the appetite for Google Plus in the new normal for news is hardly surprising. It is well known that Google Search gives priority to results from other Google products (such as Google Plus) – so it is a wonder adoption is not higher. We will continue to track the progress of Google Plus over the coming years. 3 Global social channels drive FT consumption, infographic, Financial Times, 2012 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% Personal blog Personal Twitter handle Personal Google Plus page Personal YouTube channel Other Pinterest Instagram WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS? Global 2013 Global 2012 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% 90.00% 100.00% UK France Germany Italy Spain Russia Sweden China India Australia NZ USA Canada Brazil JOURNALISTS' PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA Personal blog Personal Twitter handle Personal Google Plus page JOURNALISTS’ PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?
  • 11Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Chapter three: the digital business model Since we launched the Oriella Digital Journalism Study six years ago, the topic of monetisation online has become the single most pressing issue media organisations face today, and the driving force behind the emergence of the new normal for news. Consumption of print media has plummeted over the past decade (see chart below); as a result the business model which has fuelled the media for centuries has been rendered obsolete. This transition has wrought havoc on well-established media brands. Time Inc lost 26 per cent of its revenue between 2008 and 2012, and laid off six per cent of its workforce4 . In Spain, El Pais was forced to lay off a third of its workforce and impose a 15 per cent pay cut on the remainder5 . This negative trend is mirrored in the survey with 64 per cent of Spanish respondents predicting that advertising revenue would decline. Paywalls have not been a universal panacea. For example, in the UK, The Times continues to lose around £1m ($1.5m) each week, despite the high-profile adoption of a paywall in 2010. Nevertheless they are a popular idea with media bosses looking to staunch the decline in revenues from advertising. The UK’s Daily Telegraph and The Sun newspapers both implemented their own paywalls in early 2013. Source: People Press6 4 The Economist, http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2013/03/time-warners-spin-out-plans 5 The Economist, http://www.economist.com/news/business/21567934-after-years-bad-headlines-industry-finally-has-some- good-news-news-adventures 6 http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/in-changing-news-landscape-even-television-is-vulnerable/ 23 42 2012 2002 'I READ A NEWSPAPER YESTERDAY' (% OF US READERS) “Paid-for apps have almost doubled in popularity since 2012” ‘i READ A NEWSPAPER YESTERDAY’ (% OF US READERS)
  • 12Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Our study shows overwhelmingly that free-for-all access based on advertising revenues remains the current orthodoxy, though its popularity has experienced a slight decline, from 38 per cent in 2012 to 35 per cent this year. This trend surely explains the focus on web traffic and unique users as performance metrics for journalists explored in Chapter One. When it comes to charging for digital content, paywalls and ‘freemium’ models of monetising content presented on a web browser have given way to the smartphone and tablet. Adoption of these devices has accelerated enormously over the past year, and has caught the imaginations of proprietors looking for ways of monetising their content other than through advertisements. Our study has found that paid-for smartphone or tablet apps have almost doubled in popularity, from five per cent in 2012 to eight per cent this year, with continental European media groups – plus Chinese proprietors - leading the charge. One in four French journalists, and 20 per cent in Brazil, said their titles operated premium apps. In Italy, 12 per cent, Spain, eight per cent and in Germany, nine per cent, of journalists surveyed agreed. By contrast, in the USA and Canada, not a single journalist said their title had premium apps. Indeed, a far higher proportion of respondents in these countries said their business model was based on ad-funded free access to content. A mobile future beckons for media? The study finds that premium apps have just edged ahead of flat-rate paywalls and ‘freemium’ billing models, to be media groups’ top way of charging online-only audiences for content. Though the figures are low – less than 10 per cent – the overall shift in favour of mobile corresponds with changing consumer behaviours. According to the Pew Center, half the American population now possesses a smartphone or a tablet, of whom two in three use them to read the news7 . Smartphones and tablets are expected by analysts to be the fastest-growing mobile device categories globally for the next few years8 . It is to be expected that news consumption globally will mirror this trend: moving not just from print to online, but from ‘fixed’ desk or laptop computers to mobile devices. 7 The Future of Mobile News, Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, October 2012 http://www.jour nalism.org/analysis_report/future_mobile_news 8 Canalys, February 2013, quoted in Mobithinking Global Mobile Statistics, March 2013 http://mobithinking.com/mobile-mar keting-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% Personal blog Personal Twitter handle Personal Google Plus page Personal YouTube channel Other Pinterest Instagram WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS? Global 2013 Global 2012 WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU GENERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?
  • 13Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 If the new normal for news means that media groups indeed peg their long-term future to mobile devices, the ramifications for brands are significant. First, it is prob- able that news content will be far more interactive than it has been in the past, as touch-screen interfaces open up new possibilities for storytelling. One example could be interactive graphics (or ‘digi-graphics’) which allow readers to navigate their own path through stories. The New York Times and The Guardian are two pioneers in this area, though many other newspaper groups are bolstering their capabilities here9 . Second, we may see a polarisation of how journalistic output is published. Short, punchy news updates providing near real-time coverage of events in print and on video, op- timised for small screens at could be one end; longer-form feature and investigative pieces at the other. ‘Shorter but quicker’ journalism could also afford media brands greater prominence – and consequently greater traffic - in search rankings, news readers and ‘social news aggregator’ apps such as Flipboard and Pulse News10 . The impact on the job For all the changes playing themselves out in newsrooms and editorial offices, journalists remain generally upbeat about their jobs. Thirty-four per cent of respondents say they enjoy the job more (the same as in 2012), and just 17 per cent disagree (2012: 14 per cent). Unsurprisingly, in countries where uncertainty is highest, job satisfaction is lower. In France, where over half of re- spondents expected editorial teams to be cut, the majority say their job satisfaction has stayed the same or lessened over the past two years. On the other hand, in China, where 38 per cent of respondents said their publications had hired more journalists, job satisfaction was the highest. Sixty per cent say they enjoy their job more but not a single one says they enjoy it less. The study does find that the ‘New Normal for News’ is cre- ating new headaches for many journalists. Roughly one in three surveyed agreed they are finding it harder to keep abreast of events on social media. The figure is closer to 50 per cent in France and the US, but in the UK, Germany and Brazil, the figures are far lower. One conclusion to draw from this finding is that brands must pay closer attention to ‘trending’ topics – tailoring their output accordingly. Many brands, particularly B2C brands and ‘newer’ B2B companies, have embraced this thinking; more well-established firms however have found it more challenging. 9 The Guardian’s interactive graphic on the Arab Spring, and NYT’s ‘Mapping the Nation’s Well-Being’ are two stand-out examples of digi-graphics 10 The momentum behind news aggregation mobile and tablet apps should not be underestimated. In April 2013, Flipboard, one of the most popular of these, announced it
  • 14Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 Conclusion: the rule book gets redrawn This year’s study has seen the major shifts identified a year ago accelerate and become more deeply entrenched. Journalists are using social media to source information and promote their output; harnessing a wider range of content assets to tell stories; and have embraced real-time reporting. They are less keen on pre-packaged news in the form of press releases, which just two years ago remained the first port of call for news-gathering. At the same time, the quest for revenues is forcing proprie- tors to make tough decisions. If the respondents to our study are to be believed, there will be fewer full-time ‘staff’ journalists in 2014 than there were this year. Industry consolidation – and closures – will continue. One in three participants in our study agrees that the number of media globally will shrink. As a result, there will be fewer opportu- nities for coverage, and far greater competition for space in the titles that remain. This state of affairs will benefit ‘sector bellwethers’ but brands with a lesser profile will need to work harder to gain cut-through. There are bright spots. If mobile strategies pay off, big changes in the way news media gather communicate the news could be the result. Real-time reporting could become more commonplace, and indeed we may even see the emergence of ‘news cycles’ which more common to broadcast radio and TV newsrooms. Mobile publishing may also accelerate new forms of ‘interactive’ journalism, where users find their own path through the story. One emerging trend not covered in this study is ‘data journalism’ – the convergence of data analysis and re- porting, which has been accelerated by the publication in many countries of large amounts of government data. UK newspaper The Guardian’s Data Blog is probably the best example of this new discipline, which we plan to explore further in next year’s study. The ‘New Normal for News’ brings with it challenges, in the form of a shrinking media pool and dwindling editorial resources – but also real opportunities. Opportunities to maintain ongoing dialogues with journalists via social me- dia; opportunities to feed into breaking news coverage as it develops; and opportunities to create new kinds of content assets suitable for audiences on the move. Recommendations for communicators: 1. Break down the stove pipes separating media, digital, blogger and influencer engagement. In-house communications leaders should drive their teams to identify and engage with all the influential voices around their brand. 2. Identify who matters – not just media, analysts and bloggers, but academics, think tanks and ‘person- alities’ too. Analyse the conversations about and around the brand to identify ‘sleeping influencers’, whose interest broadly align with your own, but have yet to be ‘activated’. 3. Train your geeks – identify the most media-friendly subject matter experts at all levels in the organisa- tion, and train them on messaging, tone of voice, interview management and social media. Let them communicate as employees of the company – and bolster monitoring to evaluate its effectiveness. Even simple actions, like tweeting key items of cov- erage alongside the journalist’s Twitter handle, can have big impacts. 4. Think visually, think mobile, think interactive – publications’ illustration and media production teams are better-resourced than ever to support an evolv- ing audience. Challenge your teams to explore new ways of telling your story visually – and build ties with these teams. 5. Add Google Plus to influencer and media en- gagement strategies; encourage in-house blog- gers to use the platform to socialise their output and build Author Rank scores. The study shows media are enthusiastic Google Plus users: brands wishing to make their voices heard among journalists are advised to mirror them.
  • 15Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 With Thanks METHODOLOGY The Oriella Digital Journalism Study was compiled in March and April 2013 using an online survey of 553 jour- nalists in 15 coun¬tries from broadcast, national, lifestyle, regional and trade media and blogs in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zea- land, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. On average 37 journalists were surveyed in each country. ABOUT THE ORIELLA PR NETWORK The Oriella PR Network is an alliance of 20 communica- tions agencies in 26 countries around the world. Our partnership is built upon a set of global best practices and close working relationships not offered by others of its kind. The network was founded by Brands2Life and HORN to address a gap in the market for strategic global commu- nications. Oriella provides globally-integrated PR, digital communications and social media campaigns for industry leaders and challenger brands alike. Oriella partners exist in major and secondary markets throughout The Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. www.oriellaprnetwork.com
  • 16Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013 CONTACT DETAILS: Brands2Life, UK Giles Fraser | +44 20 7592 1200 | giles.fraser@brands2life.com HORN, USA Sabrina Horn | +1 646 202 9777 | sabrina.horn@horngroup.com Botica Butler Raudon Partners, New Zealand Allan Botica | +64 21 400 500 | allanb@botica.co.nz Buman Media, Russia Natalia Bucelnikova | +7 499 922 2401 | natalia@bumanmedia.ru Canela PR, Spain / Portugal Deborah Gray | +34 915 230 584 | dgray@canelapr.com Clipping, France Jean-Louis Aubert | +33 (0)1 44 59 69 00 | jean-louis@clipping.fr EastWest PR, China / Singapore Christian Dougoud | +86 10 6582 0018 | christian@eastwestpr.com Fink & Fuchs Public Relations AG, Germany Katja Rodenhäuser | +49 (0) 611 741 3159 | katja.rodenhauser@ffpr.de LVTPR, Belgium / The Netherlands Charly Lammers van Toorenburg | +31 (0) 30 656 5070 | charly@lvtpr.nl Maverick PR, Canada Julie Rusciolelli | +1 416 640 5525 | julier@maverickpr.com Arcane, Canada Bryan Taylor | +1 646 280 2959 | bryan@arcane.ws MDI Strategic Solutions, Poland Janusz Leszczynski | +48 606 371 960 | jleszczynski@mdi.com.pl Noesis, Italy Giovanna Pandini | +39 02 8310511 | giovanna.pandini@noesis.net PR-COM, Germany Alain Blaes | +49 (0)89 59997 700 | alain.blaes@pr-com.de Vero PR, Thailand / Vietnam Brian Griffin | + 66851676952 | brian@veropr.com VIANEWS, Brazil Pedro Cadina | +55 (11) 3865 9990 | pedro.cadina@vianews.com.br Westmark Information, Sweden Mikael Westmark | +46 8 522 378 00 | mikael@westmark.se Candour Communications, India Dhrubajyoti Gayan | +91 99101 52352 | gayan@candour.co.in