1Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013The NewNormal for newsHave global mediachanged forever?Oriella PR Network GlobalDigital Journalism Study 2013
2Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013the new normal for newshave global media changed forever?Executive SummaryThe 2013 Oriella Digital Journalism, our sixth annual investigation into the role and impact of digital media innewsrooms and news-gathering worldwide, in many senses marks a watershed. The study is based on a surveyof over 500 journalists spanning 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, NewZealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA), and finds digital media well entrenched in all countries, albeitin very different ways.More respondents than ever believe their largest readership is now online rather than off, and their performance isoverwhelmingly evaluated based on digital metrics like unique visitors. These developments reflect the significantinvestments proprietors have made in their digital platforms, as the world turns away from print media and towardsdigital content.As a result the way journalists work has changeddramatically:• ‘Digital first’ publishing is changing the rulesof the journalism game. A third of respondentsbelieves their title is ‘digital first’ – in other wordsthey break news as it happens online, rather thanholding it until the next edition. A quarter say theydevelop multiple versions of the same story as itdevelops. And, nearly half of the journalists in oursurvey say their title now produces its own videomaterial in-house.• Mobile is growing in popularity as amonetisation model - The models for generatingrevenue via digital journalism are changing too;paid-for smartphone apps for rich media content arerising in popularity while the dominant monetisationmodel – ad-supported content – have tailed offsomewhat.• Digital media has cemented its role withinthe journalistic arsenal. The use of blogs andmicroblogs to source and verify news stories isbroadly in line with last year – but only when thesources behind those feeds are known to thejournalists. Journalists’ personal use of social mediais also growing. For the first time, the proportion ofjournalists active on Twitter in a personal capacityhas passed the fifty percent mark, and a third havetheir own blogs.• For journalists, social media means morethan blogs and Twitter – in particular, the use ofGoogle Plus, widely lampooned in many areas ofmainstream media, is remarkably popular, both withmedia brands and journalists themselves.• In spite of all the new technology, traditionalvalues remain. The most prized source of newsand validation are conversations with industryinsiders. Expert spokespeople such as analystsand academics are now the first place journalists goto in order to get their news. And the most trustedsources are academics and technical experts, ratherthan executives, marketers and political figures.These trends, we believe, indicate the true emergence ofdigital journalism as a mainstream force in world media –a ‘New Normal for News’, as we have dubbed it. Mediatactics which just a few years ago would have worked per-fectly well, can no longer be relied on to the same extentas before. The trend towards ‘digital first’ publishing andmobile content all have big implications for how brandscommunicate.We explore the developments, the challenges and the op-portunities they bring, throughout the report, and providesome actionable guidance based on our conclusions, inthe Summary.Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013
3Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013Chapter one:global media: anindustry in fluxUncertainty remainsIn the last few iterations of the Oriella Digital JournalismStudy, we have seen the machinations of the globaleconomy playing out in newsrooms and editorial offices.Last year, for example, the picture was far more upbeat inthe developing markets – Brazil, Russia and China – thanin either Europe or North America. More journalists inthose countries reported an increase in journalist numbersand higher revenues than the other regions we surveyed.This year’s picture is more nuanced. In contrast thecountry whose journalists are most bullish about revenuesis the USA, where 52 per cent of the media surveyedbelieved their revenues would increase – with one in threeanticipating revenue growth of ten per cent or more. Thissits in stark comparison with the global average of 36 percent.The situation is different again when it comes to staffinglevels. This year, Germany was the only country wherethose predicting staff levels would increase was higherthan those predicting a decline. In all other countries,including China, India, Brazil, the USA and Canada, thosepredicting a decline in staff numbers outnumbered thosewho disagreed by at least two to one.Indeed, the operating environment for media globally ischallenging. In developing markets, broadband internetadoption is accelerating: in Brazil, 46 per cent of thepopulation now has internet access, while adoptionin China stands at 42 per cent1. As a result, mediaconsumption 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 predictsinternet 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 by2.7 per cent.The uncertain outlook for mainstream media is alsomade clear by a sharp increase in concern among thosesurveyed 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 eyeballsand advertisers but lackprestigeOne of the goals of this study has been to track therelative fortunes of print and digital media formats. Wedo this by asking journalists where they believe theyhave the largest audience. This year’s study is in linewith our findings in 2011 and 2012: roughly half ofrespondents globally agree their largest audiences areonline.Journalists are however dubious as to the financialmerits of digital publishing. Only 20 per cent ofrespondents worldwide agree that their publicationearns more money online than from print, and 44per cent disagree. This is likely a reflection of thesubstantial investments by media groups in digitaldepressing their overall revenues. The New York TimesCompany and Axel Springer in Germany are examplesof companies which have announced reduced profitsrecently – partly as a result of increased investmentin digital platforms. As we will see later in this report,digital metrics have become the chief means usedby publications to track the effectiveness of theirjournalists’ work.India and Sweden are the outliers when it comes toprint media consumption –69 per cent of respondentsin Sweden, and 61 per cent in India, think their largestaudiences consume their traditional print or broadcastformat. The UK comes a distant third, at 45 per cent,while journalists in France, China, the USA, Brazil andCanada now believe their largest audiences are nowonline.However, when asked about the prestige of print mediain their countries, a contrary trend emerges. Globally,over half of the journalists surveyed agreed that printmedia were more prestigious in their countries.It is interesting to note the countries where this viewwas not supported: the USA, 35 per cent, Canada,29 per cent, and Russia, where not a single journalistagreed print was more prestigious than online media.In all of these countries, online news sites and blogs arewell-established in the media mix – to an extent due totheir huge geographical expanse.1 www.internetworldstats.com; World Bank2 WARC 2013
4Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013‘Digital First’ – where print andbroadcast media meetThe past year has seen many respected media groupsdeclare themselves ‘digital first’ titles. That is, they willpublish news online as it breaks, rather than holding keystories over to the next print edition. We view digital firstas a key catalyst for the new normal for news. In the UK,both the Guardian and the Financial Times announcedshifts to a digital first model; Axel Springer in Germanyis also investing heavily is this medium. These shiftsare partly in recognition of the changing nature of theirreadership; partly to reduce costs.The survey broadly reflects the trend. Thirty-nine per centof the journalists surveyed worldwide agree their title isnow ‘digital first’, and the trend is especially pronouncedin Canada, India, Russia, Italy and Sweden. As a result,more journalists are being asked to work harder: 46 percent of the journalists surveyed this year agree they areexpected to produce more content, up from 40 per centin 2012. Further, over a quarter of respondents (28 percent) this year say they produce multiple versions of thesame story as it develops – compelling evidence thatreal-time digital journalism is going truly mainstream. Thebiggest responses here come from China: 64 per cent ofjournalists say they cover rolling news in this way, followedby Germany, with 44 per cent. Paradoxically, in the US,just 11 per cent of journalists agree.The growth of digital publishing also means more ofjournalists’ work is getting published as practical concernsover space and pagination become a thing of the past. Weasked journalists roughly what proportion of their outputhad been published so far this year, compared with lastyear. Overall, 34 per cent of respondents say that nine-tenths or more of their output made print last year – not abad number, until you find out that this year, the proportionhas risen to 43 per cent. The trend is far more markedin Europe than Asia-Pacific or the Americas – perhaps areflection of the tighter resources and competitive mediamarkets in this region.Measuring success in the age ofdigital mediaFor the first time this year, we asked journalists how thesuccess of their material is evaluated. Once upon atime, editors would have looked at the number of piecesmaking print, and the number of exclusive articles, as ayardstick of journalist performance. Today, publications’use of social media to promote their own content, plusthe inherent ‘trackability’ of digital content, meanspublishers have a much wider variety of metrics theycan look at.The message from this year’s survey is clear on thesubject: the single most important measure are uniquevisits their articles receive – chosen half (50 per cent)of the journalists surveyed. This view is most stronglyheld in the US and Canada, with 68 per cent and 86 percent respectively, plus Brazil (52 per cent), Sweden (58per cent), Spain (58 per cent) and Russia (52 per cent).In the UK, the somewhat cruder measure of pageviews – highlighted by 51 per cent of British journalists,compared with 45 per cent who chose unique visits.Interestingly, France was the only country thatevidences a deeper model of user engagement – 77per cent of French journalists say they are measured byincreases in social media followers, 74 per cent by howmany likes or tweets they get. These figures suggesteditors are looking beyond sheer traffic volumes to trackthe social media buzz around their coverage.
5Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013How digital media determinenews outputOver the past six years, the Oriella Digital JournalismStudy has charted the emergence of digital storytellingtechniques that are complementing and sometimes evenreplacing the written word and photography. For the pastthree years, the content type that has grown the fastest isin-house video. This year, nearly half of the respondentssurveyed – 49 per cent – said their titles published videosproduced in-house. This is an increase of 13 per cent on2012’s number, and a whopping 30 per cent higher than2011, when just 20 per cent of respondents said their titlessupported video made in-house.Demand for third-party produced video material has grown,but to nothing like the same extent: in 2012, 30 per centof respondents said their titles used externally-producedvideo; this year the figure is 34 per cent.Infographics are another content asset that have attracteda lot of attention in recent years. This year, 28 per cent ofrespondents say their titles published infographics, pro-vided they were developed in-house. This is an increaseon last year’s figure, albeit far smaller than for video. Aswith video, when infographics are produced externally, forexample by brands, they prove slightly less popular, with23 per cent of journalists saying they publish them.There is, however, evidence that some of these new storytelling assets are losing their lustre in some countries. Forexample, 41 per cent of Chinese journalists told us in 2012they published externally-produced infographics. Thisyear, the figure has fallen to 20 per cent.If one could draw any broad conclusion from this part of thestudy it is that media are still searching – very hard – forthe keys to success in the new normal for news. In ChapterThree, we explore how mobile is one monetisation ap-proach which is growing in popularity as advertising basedbusiness models start to fall from favour.Yet for all the technological change, some very ‘traditional’values remain at the heart of journalism worldwide – valueswhich have important implications for brands wishing tobuild relationships with them.
6Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013Chapter two:social media andnews-gathering – anew world orderemergesOver the past three years we have charted the impactsocial media have had on news-gathering itself. Lastyear, after observing how coverage of the intense politi-cal turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere had becomedominated by social media content, our survey showed justhow popular microblogs – and more traditional blogs –werefor journalists looking for new stories, or substantiation forpieces they were already working on.This year the trend is broadly similar with 51 per cent ofjournalists worldwide say they use microblogs (e.g. Twit-ter, Facebook and Weibo) to gather new stories – providedthe source behind those accounts is known and trustedby them (2012 figure, 54 per cent). As was the case in2012, reliance on these sources falls dramatically when thesources are not known to the journalist: 25 per cent saythey source stories in this way – the same proportion as2012.The UK, Canada (both with 68 per cent), China (64 percent) and France (55 per cent) are the countries wherejournalists have most readily embraced social media news-gathering – provided the sources are trustworthy.Use of social media by journalists to verify the storiesthey’re already working on is also in line with the 2012findings. Globally, 42 per cent of journalists use trustedmicroblogs (2012, 43 per cent), and 37 per cent useblogs they know (2012, 38 per cent) to verify stories.Compared with other sources, usage of social media fornews gathering and verification has changed the leastsince last year, indicating journalists – and their editors– remain broadly happy with the role of social media intheir journalism.As last year, the most important sources of news andvalidation are conversations with industry insiders.In 2012, 63 per cent of journalists said they sourcednews through these discussions, 62 per cent said theyused them for validation. This year the figures havedeclined, but still outstrip social media channels: 59 percent of respondents use them to source news, 54 percent use them for validation.-15%-10%-5%0%5%CHANGEON2012HOW DO YOU SOURCE AND VERIFY THE STORIES YOU WORK ON?0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%FAMILIARMICROBLOGSUNFAMILIARMICROBLOGSFAMILIARBLOGSUNFAMILIARBLOGSINDUSTRYINSIDERSWIRESERVICESCORPORATESPOKESPEOPLEPR AGENCIES OTHER2013 ALL COUNTRIES SOURCING 2013 ALL COUNTRIES VERIFYINGHOW DO YOU SOURCE AND VERIFY THE STORIES YOU WORK ON?
7Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013It is no surprise social media have become so invaluable tojournalists: from President Barack Obama to Rupert Mur-doch and even the Pope, many of the key agenda-shaperson the world stage make their views public on socialmedia. Yet when asked which single information sourcejournalists would look at first when developing a story, afar more complicated picture emerges (see chart below).In 2011-2012, we tracked a significant shift away frompre-packaged stories in the form of press releases, andtowards the one-to-one contact with expert spokespeople.That shift is continuing in 2013 – only seven per cent ofrespondents say their press release in-tray is their first portof call. But there has been a big fall in use of corporatespokespeople, too – from 24 per cent in 2012 to 16 percent this year.Use of social media has increased substantially, and as afirst port of call is now just one basis point behind the pressrelease in-tray. Compare this with the picture in 2011, whenpress releases were the number one first source of infor-mation for journalists. Meanwhile use of third-party blogsand analysts has experienced slight growth compared witha year ago.Of all the countries surveyed, German journalists dependthe most on press releases; meanwhile journalists in theUK, US, Sweden, Russia and China place the heaviestemphasis 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 2011INTERVIEWS WITH CORPORATE SPOKESPEOPLENEWSWIRES / AGENCIESOTHER MEDIA SITESMY PRESS RELEASE IN TRAYCORPORATE WEBSITESTWITTER / FACEBOOK / LINKEDINTHIRD PARTY BLOGSANALYSTSPR AGENCIESOFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SOURCESVIDEO SITES (E.G. YOUTUBE, VIMEO)CORPORATE BLOGS“Key agenda-shapers on theworld stage maketheir views publicon 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 2013The secret’s in the sourceWho are these ‘trusted sources’? This year we askedjournalists to state how far they trusted different typesof people in their research. Overall, the message is veryclear: academics and other third-party experts (such asthink-tanks) are by far the most respected sources ofinformation for journalists, with 70 per cent of respondentssaying they trust them.In second place, with 63 per cent, interestingly, cometechnical experts drawn from companies’ own ranks. CEOsand marketing leads, who one would associate moreclosely with delivering the corporate message, score farlower: just 41 per cent of respondents say they view CEOsas trustworthy, while for marketers the figure is a lowly17 per cent. Indeed, more journalists say they distrustmarketers – and only politicians come off worse (even PRagencies fare fractionally better)!There are some interesting variations in the data. CEOsare relatively well-regarded in Russia (52 per cent), Franceand Germany (both 48 per cent), the UK and Russia(both 45 per cent). Meanwhile analysts are seen as bettersources by journalists in France (81 per cent), Canada (74per cent), and Italy (57 per cent).Interestingly, in the emerging markets surveyed, charitiesand NGOs do not appear to be quite the beacons oftrustworthiness many would expect. Just 18 per cent ofRussian journalists, 34 per cent of Indian and 27 per centof Brazilian journalists say they trust these organisations.The big exception is China, where 54 per cent of journalistssay they trust NGOs – and indeed they rank second on thelist of Chinese’ journalists most trusted sources. What’smore, Chinese journalists place greater trust in their ownreaders than any other country surveyed – 58 per cent.Coming after a succession of natural disasters, whichcaused hundreds of deaths and casualties, the trend isunsurprising. The implication is that journalists here aretiring of covering the ‘official versions’ from mainstreamsources, and are ready to pay greater heed to sources thatare closer to the story and have less interest in glossingover the details.-40 -20 0 20 40 60 80HOW FAR DO YOU TRUST THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR RESEARCH?DistrustTrustACADEMIC OR EXPERTTECHNICAL EXPERT IN A COMPANYA PERSON LIKE YOUANALYISTCOMPANY CEONGO OR CHARITYREGULATOR OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALA READERMEMBER OR PARLIAMENT OR CONGRESSPR PERSON – EITHER AGENCY OR IN-HOUSEHEAD OF MARKETINGAN ORGANISATION’S ONLINE COMMUNITY MANAGERHOW FAR DO YOU TRUST THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR RESEARCH?
9Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013Has 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 muchcredibility 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 professionalcredibility as themselves. Half (51%) disagreed with the statement. Admittedly, there is a huge amount of variety here. Citizenjournalists 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, 43per 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 informationsources.Journalists are publishers,too!Journalists also see the value of social media for self-promotion. Over half (55 per cent) of those surveyed thisyear agree that blogs are a good way for journalists to buildtheir personal profiles – compared to just 14 per cent whodisagree, and around a third (34 per cent) actually possessone.Use of micro-blogs is somewhat more widespread. Thisyear the proportion of journalists worldwide who say theyuse Twitter has reached 59 per cent. Usage of Twitter ishighest in the UK, France, Spain, Canada, Australia andthe US – and it is hardly surprising to see the Anglophonecountries are such keen adopters. It is interesting,however, to note blogging is far more commonplace amongjournalists in India (64 per cent), while in some countries,notably Germany, social media are still very much aminority pursuit: barely a third of German journalists saythey have personal Twitter accounts.The continued growth of social media by journalists inalmost every country surveyed presents real opportunitiesfor brands to cement strong relationships with keycommentators in the new normal for news. The challengeis, of course, precisely how this cementing takes place.The study finds journalists overwhelmingly reject theidea of taking pre-formed story ‘packages’ from singleorganisations by nearly two to one. This suggestscorporate communicators should concentrate their effortsharnessing their company’s (and their experts’) socialnetworks to help qualify, shape and comment on storiesoriginating elsewhere.JOURNALISTSWHO TWEET(2012)JOURNALISTSWHO TWEET(2013)47% 59%
10Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013Google 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 GooglePlus 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; thisyear the figure is 23 per cent. Some leading titles enjoy significant followings on Google Plus. For example, the Financial Timeshas 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 forGoogle Plus in the new normal for news is hardly surprising. It is well known that Google Search gives priority to results fromother Google products (such as Google Plus) – so it is a wonder adoption is not higher. We will continue to track the progress ofGoogle Plus over the coming years. 3 Global social channels drive FT consumption, infographic, Financial Times, 20120.00%10.00%20.00%30.00%40.00%50.00%60.00%70.00%Personal blog Personal TwitterhandlePersonal GooglePlus pagePersonal YouTubechannelOther Pinterest InstagramWHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?Global 2013Global 20120.00%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 BrazilJOURNALISTS PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIAPersonal blog Personal Twitter handle Personal Google Plus pageJOURNALISTS’ PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIAWHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?
11Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013Chapter three:the digitalbusiness modelSince we launched the Oriella Digital Journalism Study sixyears ago, the topic of monetisation online has becomethe single most pressing issue media organisations facetoday, and the driving force behind the emergence of thenew normal for news. Consumption of print media hasplummeted over the past decade (see chart below); as aresult the business model which has fuelled the media forcenturies has been rendered obsolete. This transition haswrought havoc on well-established media brands. Time Inclost 26 per cent of its revenue between 2008 and 2012,and laid off six per cent of its workforce4. In Spain, El Paiswas forced to lay off a third of its workforce and imposea 15 per cent pay cut on the remainder5. This negativetrend is mirrored in the survey with 64 per cent of Spanishrespondents predicting that advertising revenue woulddecline.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 apaywall in 2010. Nevertheless they are a popular idea withmedia bosses looking to staunch the decline in revenuesfrom advertising. The UK’s Daily Telegraph and The Sunnewspapers both implemented their own paywalls in early2013.Source: People Press64 The Economist, http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2013/03/time-warners-spin-out-plans5 The Economist, http://www.economist.com/news/business/21567934-after-years-bad-headlines-industry-finally-has-some- good-news-news-adventures6 http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/in-changing-news-landscape-even-television-is-vulnerable/234220122002I READ A NEWSPAPER YESTERDAY (% OF US READERS)“Paid-for appshave almostdoubled inpopularitysince 2012”‘i READ A NEWSPAPER YESTERDAY’ (% OF US READERS)
12Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013Our study shows overwhelmingly that free-for-all accessbased on advertising revenues remains the currentorthodoxy, though its popularity has experienced a slightdecline, from 38 per cent in 2012 to 35 per cent thisyear. This trend surely explains the focus on web trafficand unique users as performance metrics for journalistsexplored in Chapter One.When it comes to charging for digital content, paywalls and‘freemium’ models of monetising content presented on aweb browser have given way to the smartphone and tablet.Adoption of these devices has accelerated enormouslyover the past year, and has caught the imaginations ofproprietors looking for ways of monetising their contentother than through advertisements. Our study has foundthat paid-for smartphone or tablet apps have almostdoubled in popularity, from five per cent in 2012 to eightper 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 percent, Spain, eight per cent and in Germany, nine per cent,of journalists surveyed agreed. By contrast, in the USA andCanada, not a single journalist said their title had premiumapps. Indeed, a far higher proportion of respondents inthese countries said their business model was based onad-funded free access to content.A mobile future beckons formedia?The study finds that premium apps have just edged aheadof flat-rate paywalls and ‘freemium’ billing models, to bemedia groups’ top way of charging online-only audiencesfor content. Though the figures are low – less than 10 percent – the overall shift in favour of mobile correspondswith changing consumer behaviours. According to the PewCenter, half the American population now possesses asmartphone or a tablet, of whom two in three use them toread the news7. Smartphones and tablets are expected byanalysts to be the fastest-growing mobile device categoriesglobally for the next few years8. It is to be expected thatnews consumption globally will mirror this trend: movingnot just from print to online, but from ‘fixed’ desk or laptopcomputers 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_news8 Canalys, February 2013, quoted in Mobithinking Global Mobile Statistics, March 2013 http://mobithinking.com/mobile-mar keting-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a0.00%10.00%20.00%30.00%40.00%50.00%60.00%70.00%Personal blog Personal TwitterhandlePersonal GooglePlus pagePersonal YouTubechannelOther Pinterest InstagramWHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?Global 2013Global 2012WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU GENERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?
13Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013If the new normal for news means that media groupsindeed peg their long-term future to mobile devices, theramifications for brands are significant. First, it is prob-able that news content will be far more interactive than ithas been in the past, as touch-screen interfaces open upnew possibilities for storytelling. One example could beinteractive graphics (or ‘digi-graphics’) which allow readersto navigate their own path through stories. The New YorkTimes and The Guardian are two pioneers in this area,though many other newspaper groups are bolstering theircapabilities here9.Second, we may see a polarisation of how journalisticoutput is published. Short, punchy news updates providingnear real-time coverage of events in print and on video, op-timised for small screens at could be one end; longer-formfeature and investigative pieces at the other. ‘Shorter butquicker’ journalism could also afford media brands greaterprominence – and consequently greater traffic - in searchrankings, news readers and ‘social news aggregator’ appssuch as Flipboard and Pulse News10.The impact on the jobFor all the changes playing themselves out in newsroomsand editorial offices, journalists remain generally upbeatabout their jobs. Thirty-four per cent of respondents saythey enjoy the job more (the same as in 2012), and just 17per 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 majoritysay their job satisfaction has stayed the same or lessenedover the past two years. On the other hand, in China,where 38 per cent of respondents said their publicationshad hired more journalists, job satisfaction was the highest.Sixty per cent say they enjoy their job more but not a singleone says they enjoy it less.The study does find that the ‘New Normal for News’ is cre-ating new headaches for many journalists. Roughly onein three surveyed agreed they are finding it harder to keepabreast of events on social media. The figure is closer to50 per cent in France and the US, but in the UK, Germanyand Brazil, the figures are far lower.One conclusion to draw from this finding is that brandsmust pay closer attention to ‘trending’ topics – tailoringtheir output accordingly. Many brands, particularly B2Cbrands and ‘newer’ B2B companies, have embraced thisthinking; more well-established firms however have found itmore 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-graphics10 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 2013Conclusion:the rule book getsredrawnThis year’s study has seen the major shifts identified ayear ago accelerate and become more deeply entrenched.Journalists are using social media to source informationand promote their output; harnessing a wider range ofcontent assets to tell stories; and have embraced real-timereporting. They are less keen on pre-packaged news in theform of press releases, which just two years ago remainedthe 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 ourstudy are to be believed, there will be fewer full-time ‘staff’journalists in 2014 than there were this year. Industryconsolidation – and closures – will continue. One in threeparticipants in our study agrees that the number of mediaglobally will shrink. As a result, there will be fewer opportu-nities for coverage, and far greater competition for space inthe titles that remain. This state of affairs will benefit ‘sectorbellwethers’ but brands with a lesser profile will need towork harder to gain cut-through.There are bright spots. If mobile strategies pay off, bigchanges in the way news media gather communicatethe news could be the result. Real-time reporting couldbecome more commonplace, and indeed we may even seethe emergence of ‘news cycles’ which more common tobroadcast radio and TV newsrooms. Mobile publishing mayalso accelerate new forms of ‘interactive’ journalism, whereusers find their own path through the story.One emerging trend not covered in this study is ‘datajournalism’ – the convergence of data analysis and re-porting, which has been accelerated by the publication inmany countries of large amounts of government data. UKnewspaper The Guardian’s Data Blog is probably the bestexample of this new discipline, which we plan to explorefurther in next year’s study.The ‘New Normal for News’ brings with it challenges, inthe form of a shrinking media pool and dwindling editorialresources – but also real opportunities. Opportunities tomaintain ongoing dialogues with journalists via social me-dia; opportunities to feed into breaking news coverage as itdevelops; and opportunities to create new kinds of contentassets suitable for audiences on the move.Recommendations forcommunicators:1. Break down the stove pipes separating media,digital, blogger and influencer engagement. In-housecommunications leaders should drive their teamsto identify and engage with all the influential voicesaround their brand.2. Identify who matters – not just media, analysts andbloggers, but academics, think tanks and ‘person-alities’ too. Analyse the conversations about andaround the brand to identify ‘sleeping influencers’,whose interest broadly align with your own, but haveyet to be ‘activated’.3. Train your geeks – identify the most media-friendlysubject matter experts at all levels in the organisa-tion, and train them on messaging, tone of voice,interview management and social media. Let themcommunicate as employees of the company – andbolster monitoring to evaluate its effectiveness.Even simple actions, like tweeting key items of cov-erage alongside the journalist’s Twitter handle, canhave big impacts.4. Think visually, think mobile, think interactive –publications’ illustration and media production teamsare better-resourced than ever to support an evolv-ing audience. Challenge your teams to explore newways of telling your story visually – and build tieswith 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 andbuild Author Rank scores. The study shows mediaare enthusiastic Google Plus users: brands wishingto make their voices heard among journalists areadvised to mirror them.
15Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013With ThanksMETHODOLOGYThe Oriella Digital Journalism Study was compiled inMarch 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 Kingdomand the United States. On average 37 journalists weresurveyed in each country.ABOUT THE ORIELLAPR NETWORKThe Oriella PR Network is an alliance of 20 communica-tions agencies in 26 countries around the world. Ourpartnership is built upon a set of global best practices andclose working relationships not offered by others of its kind.The network was founded by Brands2Life and HORN toaddress a gap in the market for strategic global commu-nications. Oriella provides globally-integrated PR, digitalcommunications and social media campaigns for industryleaders and challenger brands alike. Oriella partners existin major and secondary markets throughout The Americas,Europe, and Asia-Pacific. www.oriellaprnetwork.com