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#MediaInsights Report

#MediaInsights Report
Evolving sources of news for media - A Study

Digital and social media have been prominent buzzwords in the communications business, where professionals are increasingly leveraging interactive tools to gather information and communicate with more targeted and global audiences. The impact of the virtual world has penetrated the macrocosm that is the Indian media. The Media Insights report, conducted by multidisciplinary communications firm 20:20 MSL in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Mass Communications, sheds light on the spark behind the ideation and execution of a journalist’s story in the present-day scenario. The report is based on one-on-one interviews conducted with a stratified sample of 309 journalists from regional and national publications across the country.

The report reveals the growing redundancy of the one-time star of the communications world – the press release. The waning interest in the standard-format, and now mundane, document stems from a clutter of corporate news releases that media outposts are faced with on a daily basis. Additionally, a common sentiment that journalists have expressed is the need for first-hand fact-checking before their stories are filed. This is precisely the need that social networks fulfill. Even while adherence to convention may be the risk-free way to go, what communications professionals must understand is the scope for successful storytelling and message delivery through a social interface that empowers users to exchange content and facilitate meaningful conversations and actions.

#MediaInsights Report

  2. 2. About 20:20 MSL: 20:20 MSL is one of India's largest multidiscipline communications firms and a leader in the area of specialty communications services including corporate reputation management, strategic media relations, analyst relations, social media, crisis and issues management, events and activation services. The firm is also the acknowledged leader in technology communications space in India. Through its powerful network of more than 150 staff across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune, as well as the reach of the MSLGROUP and Publicis Groupe international network, 20:20 MSL partners with more than 100 leading Indian brands and multinationals to deliver world-class communications. About IIMC: The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) is one of India's premier institutes for training, teaching and research in mass communication. Set up to impart quality education and conduct research with special reference to the socio-economic growth in the country, it was set up by the Government of India in 1965 on the recommendation of a team of internationally known mass communication specialists from UNESCO and the Ford Foundation.
  3. 3. With a tremendous media explosion and the proliferation of large amounts of data online (especially on social media) and the emergence of more than 300 round-the-clock news channels, the speed at which information is sourced, sifted and included in news stories has undergone a paradigm shift. 20:20 MSL, one of India's premier Public Relations firm and the Advertising & Public Relations Department of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) joined hands to research the changing patterns of news sourcing by journalists and their effect on the news writing. The current research, exploratory in nature, has been undertaken with a view to understanding the changing patterns of news sourcing by media persons and the concomitant effect on news story writing. This first-of-its- kind research combined the academic expertise of IIMC with the professional rigour of 20:20 MSL to arrive at insights that would benefit India's media and communications industry. The findings of this study are aimed at benefiting PR/communication agencies and practitioners in leveraging their strategies and tactics. Mr. Sunit Tandon, Director General, IIMC & FOREWORD RESEARCH TEAM: IIMC Research lead : Professor Jaishri Jethwaney, PhD. Team members : Krishna Pandey, Narendra Singh Rao and Prarthana & 20:20 MSL The research was conducted through one-on-one interviews with a number of journalists based in Delhi and telephonic interviews with journalists from various other cities and towns. A stratified sample of 309 journalists was identified, encompassing a cross-section of 239 English and 60 Hindi-language print media outposts, news and business television channels and digital media organizations. Ten other journalists were selected from Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telegu media. A pre-determined and encoded questionnaire for face-to-face interviews was designed along with a research guide for telephonic interviews. Researchers on the team comprised seasoned media and communications academicians and practitioners from IIMC and 20:20 MSL. The research operates on the hypothesis that digital and social media have become important sources of research and news sourcing for journalists. The research universe was drawn keeping in view, the state of Internet penetration in the country. The sample was carefully chosen to cover a cross section of media in metro and mini metro cities of India. It is planned to undertake a series of such research studies in future that would cover language & regional media adequately. METHODOLOGY Chetan Mahajan, Managing Director, 20:20 MSL
  4. 4. PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS Total = respondents309 Experience (in years) North 215 South 45 West 38 East 11 15% 70% 12% 3% Number of journalists by region 68% Male 211 32% Female 98 Over 21 yrs. 16-20 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 6-10 yrs. Less than 5 yrs. 7%22 40 13% 110 36% 105 34% 32 10% Gender ratio
  5. 5. By beat (multiple response) Science & Tech Business & Corporate 21% Development Political Lifestyle & Entertainment 15% 3% 10% 5% 29%12%5% Legal Sports Others 86 64 21 49 44 20 12113 By media type 10% Financials 31 6% Business Magazines 19 4% Trade Magazines 13 14% Other Magazines 43 12% Electronic 38 31% Mainlines 95 18% Wire 54 5% Online 16 By Language The universe comprised mainstream newspapers and magazines, financial and trade papers, wire agencies, online portals and news channels. The journalists from various media were represented as reflected in the chart below. Bengali Marathi 4 1% 2 1% Gujarati Hindi 0%1 60 20% Telegu 2 1% 1 0%Tamil English 77%239 PS: Since there are some journalist who cover more than one beat, the total will not reconcile with the total number of respondents i.e. 309 - this content needs to be moved to the next page. This is applicable for "By Beat (multiple response)" section.
  6. 6. CONTENTS Key Findings The Number Game The First step to the big story The Press Release Story Most Importantly, Are they used? How are they used? Talking about favourite sources What about genuineness of the source? Is gender a barrier? The net connect What is the social quotient? Most 'likes' for facebook 07 08 10 15 19 21 24 27 30 33 37 40
  7. 7. KEY FINDINGS PR/communication agencies and companies need to use the Net vigorously to reach out to the journalists faster. Communication agencies are best placed advising their clients to post crisp content, sound bytes, clips and pictures on their web sites as journalists, especially in crisis situations, look for authentic pieces of information amid grapevine. They also look for quotes from company spokespersons that could easily be made available through company web sites. The traditional way of writing and sending press releases has long become outdated. There is clearly a need to reinvent touch points, formats, styles and objectives of press releases when over 47% journalists use less than 10% of the press releases they receive. It is crucial for the sources of dispatching news releases to be exclusive. Checking on the veracity of sources involves identifying more innovativetouch points across social media, company web sites and blogs, among others. A majority of journalists cutting across age, gender and specialization use the Internet to develop their stories. The benefits they garner from the digital space range from story conceptualization and content validation to background research and insights into current and evolving news updates and trends. Social networking sites have evolved as an important platform for journalists, who leverage them to gauge public opinion during crisis situations. Company websites are accessed to get authentic information, especially for quotes.
  8. 8. 8 The first section of the questionnaire focused on how many stories journalists write per week and what triggers their story ideas. Conversations with the 309 journalists interviewed reflect that the number of stories journalists write declines as their level of seniority increases. However, the number of stories they edit makes up for the time spent away from writing and reporting. Also, the research indicates that journalists from the North contribute the most number of stories. Senior journalists write lesser stories than their younger counterparts #mediainsights Journalists in the North contribute the most number of stories #mediainsights THE NUMBER GAME SECTION 1
  9. 9. 9 South Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 11-15 More than 15 Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 11-15 More than 15 Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 11-15 East WEST North 8% 46% 12% 34% 24% 69% 05% 02% 18% 82% 10% 3% 58% 29% THE NUMBER GAME SECTION 1
  10. 10. 10 THE FIRST STEP TO THE BIG STORY The research sheds light on how journalists conceive story ideas. Internal meetings, tip-offs, events and primary research were the most popular sources with 63 percent of journalists relying on these activities for story ideas. Internal brainstorm sessions and editorial meetings were found to be the most preferred sources for generating fresh content-related ideas. Online content and social networks seem to be triggers for the same pie of journalists across all experience levels. In an informal interview chat, one of the journalists said that reading and surfing could provide some cues, but that it was sheer hard work when one finally wrote a story. There was no way “one could do desktop stories’’, said another journalist. Yet, another journalist felt that the Net could provide a trigger. Seasoned journalists, more often than not, develop sustainable relationships with their sources, consult experts and interview key people to get the flavour for the subjects they are reporting on. Looking specifically at regional variations in story conceptualization, more journalists from the South look for story triggers in competitive media vis-à- vis other regions. The regional analysis also indicated that most journalists from East draw on events to evolve fresh story ideas. The popularity of interactive formats provides an immense opportunity for corporates to reach out to media in the East through press events. SECTION 1 Internal brainstorming meetings are the biggest source of story ideas #mediainsights In terms of getting story ideas, age is no bar as far as reliance on online media is concerned #mediainsights News hooks across competitive media serve as story idea triggers for 16% of journalists in the South, versus 9% in the North #mediainsights Events are more favored by journalists in the East, followed by the North, West and South #mediainsights Communications agencies are most preferred by journalists covering sports, followed by those covering Business & Corporate and Science & Technology #mediainsights Women reporters have a greater affinity for communications agencies versus their male counterparts #mediainsights
  11. 11. 11 Competition media/ channel/newspaper 10% Tip-off 14% An event 15% Social Network 07% Online content/news 08% 09% Primary research 13% Others 03%Communication agencies THE FIRST STEP TO THE BIG STORY Internal meeting decision 21% SECTION 1
  12. 12. 12 THE FIRST STEP TO THE BIG STORY Internal meeting decision Competition media Tip-off Communication agencies Primary research Others An event Social Network Online content North South East West 20% 9% 13% 16% 8% 8% 9% 13% 4% 26% 16% 16% 7% 2% 10% 10% 10% 3% 29% 6% 15% 20% 3% 3% 6% 18% 0% 20% 11% 14% 14% 5% 6% 8% 19% 3% SECTION 1
  13. 13. 13 THE FIRST STEP TO THE BIG STORY Business & Corporate Lifestyle & Entertainment Science & Tech Sports 21% 10% 13% 12% 5% 13% 10% 13% 3% 25% 7% 14% 16% 8% 6% 10% 13% 1% 19% 11% 10% 17% 11% 11% 8% 9% 4% 19% 9% 13% 19% 8% 3% 13% 14% 2% Internal meeting decision Competition media Tip-off Communication agencies Primary research Others An event Social Network Online content SECTION 1
  14. 14. I remember that as a Principal Correspondent of a daily, I would file at least of 3-4 exclusives in a week. On a daily basis, it used to work out to minimum of two stories. However, the scenario today hasn’t changed in terms of numbers but what has perhaps changed is that I have to ensure that these stories are getting filed. The first story idea trigger is definitely the way you track the sector and if there’s any important development that comes up. Press releases and company events also serve as important first steps. We also keep a track of all major publications to ensure that we have everything important covered. Sudhir Chowdhary, Features Head, Financial Express Anurag Prasad, Senior Editor, Fortune India Talking from the perspective of a magazine, the number of stories are higher for a daily, however the thing to be kept in mind here is the size of the story. For a typical 2500 word magazine story, it makes up for five 500 stories or over eight 300 word stories for are usually written for dailies. Therefore, this dynamics have to be considered keeping everything in mind. As the experience grows, you write lesser stories but of course, there are responsibilities of reading, rewriting and editing more stories. As far as story triggers are concerned, I believe numbers alone don’t make a story, especially for a magazine. Ideas primarily come from internal editorial meetings, constantly meeting people and more recently tracking social media closely. EXPERT SPEAK SECTION 1
  15. 15. 15 This section offers insights into the growing redundancy of press releases and the need to explore other communications avenues. The primary objective of creating and sharing a press release is to bring a story to life. But that does not always happen. Most press releases are not even read beyond the first two lines in cases where the writer has done a brilliant job. While seasoned professionals may have written off the press release concept as a media outreach tool, it continues to exist, even as questions arise in connection with the purpose it serves. On an average, 44 percent of journalists receive more than 15 press releases a day. What is surprising is that only 27 percent of journalists with less than 5 years of experience receive more than 15 releases a day vis-à-vis a whopping 64 percent of journalists with two decades of experience and over. It is important to keep senior journalists posted on key announcements. However, it is imperative to screen the level of importance effectively. Younger reporters getting fewer press releases than their senior counterparts may actually mean losing out on an opportunity. Since seasoned professionals mostly have richer sources of information gathering, their dependence on press releases is relatively lesser than that of their younger counterparts. While receiving the press release is one matter, reading is another – and definitely more critical. Thirty-seven percent of journalists said that they read more than 50 percent of the press releases they received; while 20 percent revealed that they read less than 10 percent. A scanty 4 percent of journalists do not read any press releases that come their way. THE PRESS RELEASE STORY SECTION 2 44% of journalists receive more than 15 press releases a day #mediainsights 64% of journalists with over two decades of experience receive more than15 press releases a day #mediainsights The largest portion of press releases is focused on legal developments, followed by news updates in the business/ corporate sector and the science and technology space #mediainsights 37% of journalists read more than 50% of the press releases that they receive #mediainsights Younger journalists read a larger number of press releases vis-à-vis their senior counterparts #mediainsights
  16. 16. 16 Development, Sports, and Science & Technology are the most popular categories in terms of the topic focus of press releases #mediainsights Journalists in the western part of India get the largestnumber of press releases #mediainsights Journalists with 16 to 20 years of experience source the highest proportion of story ideas from the Internet (9%), compared to the overall average of 4% #mediainsights Journalists in East India read a greater number of press releases over their counterparts in other regions #mediainsights THE PRESS RELEASE STORY Seniority predictably plays a key role in the extent to which press releases are being read. Forty-four percent of journalists with less than 5 years of experience read over 50 percent of the press releases that they receive as against close to one-half (23%) of their senior counterparts (with more than 20 years of experience). In this context, the goals of communication professionals, for whom the press release remains a key component of their media relations activities, would be best achieved if they reached out to reporters rather than senior level editors. The research indicates that news events across the development and social sector garner interest with 62 percent of journalists reading more than 50 percent of related press releases. The sports sector comes in second at 55 percent, followed by science and technology (39 ). The West leads the way with the greatest number of press releases (61% of journalists receive more than 15 press releases a day) followed by the North (44 ), South (38 ) and East (27 ). Just as events are more favoured by journalists in the East to get story ideas, press releases seem to be the region’s favorite as well, with 45 percent of journalists reading more than 50 percent of the press releases that they receive. Meanwhile, a mere 24 percent of journalists in the South read more than 50 percent of the press releases. % % % % SECTION 2
  17. 17. 17 THE PRESS RELEASE STORY How many press releases are received 44% More than 15 2% None 12% Less than 5 28% Between 6 and 10 14% Between 10 and 15 27% 46% 60% 63% 64% Less than 5 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 16-20 yrs. Over 21 yrs. SECTION 2
  18. 18. 18 How many press releases are read 4% None THE PRESS RELEASE STORY 18% Around 10-25% 21% Around 25-50% 20% Less than 10% 37%More than 50% SECTION 2 23% Over 21 yrs. 31% 33% 35% 44% 16-20 yrs. 11-15yrs. 6-10 yrs. Less than 5 yrs. 27% Business & Corporate Science & Tech Development Political Legal Lifestyle & Entertainment 39% 62% 37% 31% 32% 55% 49% Sports Others
  19. 19. 19 Clearly, press releases are received and some are read. But whether they are used is what makes or breaks it. Only 6 percent of journalists across all categories said that they don't use the press releases in any context. A proportion of 48 percent stated that they used less than 10 percent of the press releases they received. While this percentage might be low, it could also reflect the quality of the press release in question, or the level of importance and newsworthiness the announcement holds. Additionally, 7 percent of journalists said that they used more than 50 percent of the press releases that reached them. With experience, the rate of journalists' dependence on press releases goes down too. This also supports our previous data points of senior journalists reading fewer press releases as compared to their younger counterparts. While 10 percent of journalists with less than five years of experience use more than 50 percent of press releases for building their stories, the percentage drops to 3 percent for journalists with an experience of 16-20 years behind them. MOST IMPORTANTLY, ARE THEY USED? Only 6% of journalists don’t use press releases for building stories #mediainsights 9% of journalists use more than 50% of press releases for conceptualising stories #mediainsights Senior journalists use fewer press releases for stories than their younger counterparts #mediainsights SECTION 2
  20. 20. 20 MOST IMPORTANTLY, ARE THEY USED? 7% Less than 5 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 16-20 yrs. Over 21 yrs. 10% 7% 5% 3% 5% None Less than 10% Around 10-25% Around 25-50% 13% 26% 48% 6% More than 50% SECTION 2
  21. 21. 21 A press release goes through various life stages before it actually takes the shape of a story and gets published. It is created and sent to journalists, who may choose not to read it. And if they do, they may choose not to use it. If they get used to the press release format, what is the final outcome? That’s the question that we will seek to answer in this section. Overall, a good press release is seen more as an idea for a story, than the story itself. 56 percent of journalists believe that a worthy press release serves as a story idea versus 9 percent who may use it as the story itself. Not to mention the remaining 35 percent of journalists who draw on selective press releases to develop a major portion of content for their stories. The research ascertains that as journalists gain more experience the need to showcase novel ideas keeps spiraling upwards. While 10 percent of the journalists with less than 10 years of experience may use a good press release as a story in itself, the pie becomes half (5%) for journalists who have over two decades of experience. If we look at East, while no journalist may use the press release as a story in itself, 64 percent of the journalists agreed that they use press releases as major content of their story and 36 percent utilise them as story idea triggers. Journalists in the North, South and West use press releases as triggers for story ideas, followed by major content for their stories and lastly as a story in itself. Science and technology, and development sectors have an advantage over other sectors, since these press releases are often used as a story in entirety – 17 percent and 19 percent respectively. 60 percent of the journalists use business and corporate press releases to generate story ideas whereas the percentage goes up to 70 percent for the sports news. Looking at the gender analysis specifically, while 30 percent of the male journalists use the press releases for major story content, the percentage goes up to 44 percent for the women counterparts. HOW ARE THEY USED? A good press release is seen more as an idea for a story, than the story itself #mediainsights 35% of journalists use press releases as a major source of content for their stories #mediainsights The proportion of senior journalists who use press releases as a story in itself is half that of their younger counterparts #mediainsights Journalists in the North, West and South display similar behavior in terms of how they use press releases; East differs #mediainsights Press releases from the Science & Technology and Development sectors are used as stories in themselves to a greater extent than press releases from other sectors #mediainsights More women journalists use press releases as major content source versus their male counterparts #mediainsights SECTION 2
  22. 22. 22 HOW ARE THEY USED? A story in itself Major content for a story An idea for a story NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST 9% 12% 8% 6% 5% 35% 31% 38% 47% 27% 56% 57% 55% 47% 68% Less than 5 yrs. 11-15 yrs. Over 21 yrs. 16-20 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11% 39% 50% 04% 27% 69% 64% 36% 5% 13% 82% A story in itself An idea for story Major content for a story SECTION 2
  23. 23. I feel that press releases give a brief overview of the subject at hand but are not comprehensive enough to convey the whole story. While I read about 50% of the press releases that I get in a given day I only use them if they are deemed newsworthy. I feel compelled to read further if the first paragraph is interesting enough, the subject line or the headline does not make much difference to me. While I have no preference for a specific format I would like to have the release in the body of the email rather than as an attachment. I also feel that follow ups are not important at all and if the release is interesting enough it will get picked up and follow ups don't help in achieving coverage. Venkatesh Ganesh, Special Correspondent, Hindu Business Line Sudhir Chowdhary, Features Head, Financial Express We get about 20-25 press releases in a day and definitely, the subject line is what makes us read it. And then of course, follow ups serve as reminders, but they should be limited to very important press releases only. Once we open the email, it is the headline and the first paragraph that either makes it to the story or not. EXPERT SPEAK SECTION 2
  24. 24. 24 The study takes a closer look at what sources journalists most rely on during the course of their formative research for a story. Most journalists (62%) prefer getting their information directly from the source, while choosing multiple options in the questionnaire. This could mean opting for interactions with the concerned spokesperson, engaging in a site visit, referring to company websites as a content source. This is reason enough for companies to ensure that they have an updated website, and more so, an updated news room. When they had to choose just one option, 67 percent of journalists vouched for interviews with the concerned person and visiting the company's website as their most preferred content research activities. Social media took a relatively small portion of the pie with a miniscule 8 percent of journalists opting for this source as a content research platform. In a one-on-one interview, a business correspondent said that talking with analysts was another popular source of information. Product reviews were written after personal experience of using the products and experiencing its pros and cons. Breaking down to the regions, in the West and North, 63 percent and 56 percent (respectively) of journalists rated interviews with spokespersons as their most favoured source of gathering information. In the East, this proportion is much lower at 27 percent. This also reflects the fact that most large corporate offices are based out of Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore, thus offering a greater opportunity to meet company representatives. While the East's preference for spokesperson interactions might be low at 27 percent, it ranks highest in its access of information from company websites, with 36 percent of journalists vouching for it. TALKING ABOUT FAVOURITE SOURCES SECTION 3 63% of journalists in the West and 56% in the North prefer spokesperson interactions for researching on stories #mediainsights Younger journalists, who are more digital media savvy than their seasoned counterparts, use social media platforms for content research #mediainsights 67% of journalists prefer company websites or interactions with spokespersons to research on their stories #mediainsights While only 27 of journalists in the East prefer interviews for gathering information, 36% prefer referring to company websites #mediainsights %
  25. 25. 25 TALKING ABOUT FAVOURITE SOURCES While choosing multiple options Social media 8% Web sites of organizations 138 %17 Tip-off from sources (known) 15%15% Stories in print or electronic media 11%16% Site of the event 16% Interviews with the concerned 29% Tip-off from sources (unknown) {34} 4%4% SECTION 3
  26. 26. 26 TALKING ABOUT FAVOURITE SOURCES North South East West Stories in print or electronic media Interviews with the concerned Web sites of organizations Tip-off from sources (known) Social media 56% 47% 27% 63% 10% 11% 09% 16% 04% 09% 00% 00% 11% 09% 36% 16% 19% 24% 27% 05% SECTION 3
  27. 27. 27 WHAT ABOUT GENUINENESS OF THE SOURCE? The research examines how journalists establish the credibility of their sources and the information they have received. Cross-checking from various sources was the most preferred route to source authenticity, with 55 percent of journalists choosing this option. Speaking with the concerned company representative is the next in line, with 37 percent of journalists declaring their preference for it. A scanty 8 percent relied on intuition to verify a source's credibility. The preference for gut feel is lower in journalists with 6-10 years of experience (3%) vis-à-vis journalists with more than two decades in the field (20%). Taking cues from the previous section, 92 percent of journalists in the East preferred to cross check from various sources. However, their dependence on interviews was low with only 8 percent of journalists choosing this option. Journalists from this region displayed little or no reliance on gut feel as a precipitating factor for checking the genuineness of their sources. Overall, men exhibited a stronger gut feel dependence quotient, with 9 percent of male reporters relying on intuition to authenticate their sources, as against 4 percent, among women journalists. SECTION 3 8% of journalists depend on gut instinct to verify the authenticity of their sources #mediainsights Journalists in the East majorly rely on cross checking information for ensure authenticity of the source #mediainsights To ensure authenticity of the source, cross- checking is the most preferred tool among journalists #mediainsights The greater the journalist’s level of seniority, the stronger his or her reliance on gut instinct #mediainsights Men rely more on gut-feel vis-à-vis women journalists to authenticate sources #mediainsights
  28. 28. 28 WHAT ABOUT GENUINENESS OF THE SOURCE? 55% 37% 8% Through cross checking from various sources Speaking with the concerned spokesperson Gut feeling SECTION 3
  29. 29. WHAT ABOUT GENUINENESS OF THE SOURCE? 29 55% 59% 60% 55% 48% %37 39% 36% 31% 32% 08% 03% 04% 14% 20% Less than 5 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11-15yrs. 16-20 yrs. Over 21 yrs. Through cross checking from various sources Speaking with the concerned spokesperson Gut feeling SECTION 3
  30. 30. 1430 Another component of the research focused on the role of gender in reporting. Overall, the result was encouraging as 89 percent of the journalists interviewed said that the gender of the source was immaterial. However, looking at the regional analysis, 9 percent of journalists in the East avowed that the gender of the source was extremely important. This perception was non-existent in the West and South. While speaking to journalists, it is evident that some biases do creep in when it comes to the subject of the story. While those covering the Development and Social sectors have no gender bias, the ratio falls for categories like Legal, and Science & Technology. Twenty-three percent of journalists covering the legal space revealed that the gender of their sources was important to ‘some extent’ while 17 percent of Science & Technology reporters echoed this view. IS GENDER A BARRIER? Journalists covering the Developmental and Social sectors have no gender bias #mediainsights 17 of journalists covering Science & Technology declared that the gender of the source is important to ‘some extent’ #mediainsights % The gender of a source does not matter for 89% of journalists #mediainsights 23% of the journalists covering legal developments feel that the gender of the source is important to ‘some extent’ #mediainsights SECTION 3
  31. 31. 31 Only to some extent Definitely Not Really 9% 2% 89% IS GENDER A BARRIER? SECTION 3
  32. 32. If we talk about sources for doing a well-rounded story, analysts are getting extremely important. This is also keeping in view that company spokespeople are getting very repetitive. There are very few spokespeople who have that spark to keep a conversation going, without sounding the same every time. I feel that not having opinionated spokespersons is hurting the companies - if your representative is a walking press release, then perhaps you don't want to talk and hence industry experts like analysts become important to get the pulse of the issue in question. As far as genuineness of the source is concerned, cross- checking is critical. We have industry sources – distributors, analysts, experts, etc., and speaking to them allows one to get the sense of whether the information one has received from a particular source is correct, but going by the gut-feel is perhaps the most risky thing to do. Company websites can be an important source of information but far too many companies don't even bother updating their websites, which kills the purpose. A website is like a café – if your experience is bad in the first visit, you don't come back to it! I would recommend every company to have a highly responsive press section – companies like Amazon manage it quite well. Nimish Dubey, Writer and Editorial Consultant Anurag Prasad, Senior Editor, Fortune India Conducting research for a story is a huge exercise and there is no one prime source that can give all the information. For a large story in a magazine, the number of stake holders can be anything upwards of 15-20, at times going as high as 40-45, to get the right pulse and relevant perspective. That's the amount of research that we are talking about, which ensures cross-checking at every stage. Of course market research firms and reports play a huge role. However, I also believe that while data is important, it is not primary. Numbers should tell a story, otherwise they are meaningless. In all, it is the story-telling aspect that we always focus on. EXPERT SPEAK SECTION 3
  33. 33. 33 Of the 309 journalists interviewed, 92 percent have adopted the Internet for reasons ranging from research and information sourcing to story ideation and validation. While a meager 4 percent was found to draw resources from the Net to frame story ideas, 11 percent have been consuming the digital space for validation and 64 percent of journalists consider it as an effective platform for research and information sourcing. Digging deeper, we found that 75 percent of Science & Technology reporters used their time online for research and information sourcing, followed by business and corporate journalists (69%). The Net has well and truly cast its web with 61 percent of journalists confirming that the Internet has become the biggest source of information gathering. Only 11 percent think that the time is yet to come. This is an indication of the importance of being seen online at the right time and ensuring relevant content enrichment in the online space. Expectedly, the younger the journalists, the more they depended on the Internet. 95 percent of respondents with less than five years of experience use the Internet for myriad reasons in the context of news. 86 percent of journalists with more than 20 years of experience have also adopted the Internet of which 54 percent use it for background research and information sourcing. In the context of regional variances, the South ranks the highest with 98 percent of respondents using the Internet, followed by the West (95%) and the North (91%). The East lags behind at 82 percent. THE NET CONNECT 92% of journalists turn to the Internet for varying reasons to source information #mediainsights 64% of journalists use the Internet for research and information sourcing #mediainsights Science & Technology reporters spend most of their online time on research and information sourcing #mediainsights 61% of journalists agree that the Internet has become the biggest source of information gathering information to ‘a great extent’ #mediainsights The younger the journalists, the greater their level of Internet access for sourcing information #mediainsights 86% of seasoned journalists with more than two decades of experience use the Internet for varying reasons to source information #mediainsights Journalists in Southern India use the Internet more for sourcing information vis-à-vis their counterparts in other regions #mediainsights SECTION 4
  34. 34. Information Sourcing 27% Background Research 37% Validation 11% Story Ideas 04% Content Generation 04% Facts & Figures 04% Facts & Figures 04% Email 01% Don’t Use 08% 1434 THE NET CONNECT SECTION 4
  35. 35. Information Sourcing Background Research Validation Story Ideas Content Generation Facts & Figures Tracking latest developments Email Re-search Don’t Use Business& Corporate Science& Tech Development Political Legal Lifestyle& Entertainment Sports Others 28% 38% 29% 31% 08% 32% 15% 21% 33% 20% 33% 24% 23% 16% 20% 33% 10% 08% 14% 12% 15% 16% 20% 12% 05% 09% 0% 06% 0% 02% 05% 04% 02% 0% 05% 02% 08% 05% 05% 03% 02% 02% 0% 04% 15% 02% 20% 03% 02% 0% 14% 08% 15% 11% 0% 04% 01% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 02% Validation 08% 06% 05% 08% 15% 09% 0% 06% 08% 17% 0% 4% 0% 7% 15% 10% SECTION 4
  36. 36. 1436 THE NET CONNECT Only to some extent To a great extent Not really 28% 61% 11% Less than 5 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 16-20 yrs. Over 21 yrs. Less than 5 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 16-20 yrs. Over 21 yrs. Less than 5 yrs. 6-10 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 16-20 yrs. Over 21 yrs. 25% 28% 30% 38% 32% 66% 60% 53% 56% 59% 10% 12% 18% 06% 09% SECTION 4
  37. 37. 1437 The research would have been incomplete without analysing the respondents' 'liking' for social networking platforms. Out of the 309 respondents surveyed, 90 percent use social networking platforms, reaffirming the altering patterns of an increasingly multi- channel communications landscape. With younger journalists accessing social networking platforms with greater frequency, the age-factor presumably plays up here as well. 94 percent of journalists with less than 10 years of experience visit social networking platforms versus 59 percent of their counterparts who have more than two decades of experience. Personal interviews with journalists offered refreshing insights into the dynamics of social media usage. One respondent said he used Twitter to build contacts. Another said that scanning social networking sites offered a glimpse into the psyche of the youth. Journalists often surf the social networks to know what's trending, and gauge the mood of the people, especially post a crisis situation. Another journalist opined that the advent of social media had changed the way 'breaking news' was being perceived. Every single respondent interviewed from the East frequented social networking platforms. The North and South, followed at 93 and 89 percent respectively, while the West was comparatively low at 74 percent. Social networking platforms seem to be more in vogue among journalists covering the lifestyle and entertainment segment. 95 percent of reporters from this beat use these platforms, followed by business & corporate (87%) and sports journalists (85%). In terms of the gender break-up, more female journalists were found to use social networks (97%) than their male counterparts (87%). WHAT IS THE SOCIAL QUOTIENT? The younger the journalists, the greater their frequency of social media access #mediainsights More female journalists use social networking platforms than their male counterparts #mediainsights 90% of journalists use social networking platforms #mediainsights 100% of journalists in East frequent social networking platforms – the highest amongst all regions #mediainsights SECTION 4
  38. 38. 1438 WHAT IS THE SOCIAL QUOTIENT? Visit social networking platforms < 5 Yrs 5 to 10 Yrs 11 to 15 Yrs 16 to 20 Yrs >20 Yrs North South East West 94% 95% 87% 87% 59% 93% 89% 100% 74% SECTION 4
  39. 39. 1439 WHAT IS THE SOCIAL QUOTIENT? Visit social networking platforms Business & Corporate Science & Tech Development Political Legal Lifestyle & Entertainment Sports Others 97% 87% Female Male 87% 92% 90% 86% 85% 95% 85% 93% SECTION 4
  40. 40. 1440 Facebook rules the roost with 56 percent of journalists frequenting this platform over others. Out of this, 79 percent have less than ten years of field experience. This finding links back to our previous discovery of a greater inclination among younger journalists towards online platforms. Facebook is most frequented by journalists covering the Lifestyle (66%), Sports (65%) and Science & Technolgy (61%) sectors. Predictably, Twitter is the next favourite. It is most frequented by journalists covering the Legal industry (38%), the Developmental and Social sectors (24%), and Business and Corporate news (22%). Google+ is most frequented by journalists covering Developmental and Social sector (10%). Its popularity among this section of journalists could stem from strong e-governance initiatives that leverage Google+ Hangouts. LinkedIn also features in this list, with 14 percent of business and corporate journalists calling it their most favoured social network. While the East favours Facebook, it shows no traction for Twitter. Other regions have a balanced view of Facebook and Twitter, with the former having an edge. The South scores higher in its usage of Google+ and LinkedIn than other regions. While Facebook and Twitter are favourites among both genders, Google+ usage is more prevalent among male respondents than their female counterparts. MOST 'LIKES' FOR FACEBOOK Facebook rules the roost among all social networking platforms even in the media fraternity #mediainsights Facebook is most frequented by journalists covering Lifestyle, Sports and Science & Tech #mediainsights Twitter is the next favorite for journalists after Facebook #mediainsights Twitter is most frequented by journalists covering the Legal, Development & Social and Business/Corporate sectors #mediainsights Google+ is most frequented by journalists covering Developmental & Social sector #mediainsights LinkedIn is most frequented by journalists covering Business & Corporate space #mediainsights Journalists in the South use Google+ and LinkedIn a lot more than those from other regions #mediainsights Google+ is more frequented by male journalists than women journalists #mediainsights SECTION 4
  41. 41. 1441 56% 18% 7% Facebook Twitter Google+ 0% 10% 02% Reddit None Others SECTION 4 7% LinkedIn
  42. 42. MOST 'LIKES' FOR FACEBOOK 1542 Facebook Twitter Google+ 64% 64% 43% 41% 32% 20% 15% 20% 25% 09% 04% 06% 13% 06% 09% 04% 09% 10% 13% 00% LinkedIn SECTION 4 > 20 Yrs16-20 Yrs11-15 Yrs5-10 Yrs< 5 Yrs
  43. 43. 1443 MOST 'LIKES' FOR FACEBOOK North South East West 20% 11% 00% 18% 07% 13% 00% 00% 03% 22% 09% 13% 61% 38% 91% 39% Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn SECTION 4
  44. 44. 1544 22% 17% 24% 20% 38% 20% 10% 18% 14% 9% 0% 2% 8% 5% 0% 5% 6% 2% 10% 8% 8% 2% 0% 10% MOST 'LIKES' FOR FACEBOOK 42% 61% 52% 53% 31% 66% 65% 58% Business & Corporate Science & Tech Development Political Legal Lifestyle & Entertainment Sports Others FacebookGoogle+ TwitterLinkedIn SECTION 4
  45. 45. We see more affinity among younger journalists for internet and social media platforms. This gap is primarily because of unfamiliarity to some extent among older journalists and also because they being busy with 'focused' stories there's this myth associated with social media of not being focused. The truth is you can be as serious or as frivolous on social media. Also, the more focused you are, the better work you do – whether you are on or off the internet or social media. There's spot breaking news on Twitter, you get the public pulse on social platforms, and in fact the top stories are being determined increasingly on what's being discussed on social platforms. Basically, using internet or more specifically social media is a matter of personal style element and comfort level. Taking a step ahead of citizen journalism, crowd sourcing is becoming an important aspect of new age media. Social media is not an alternative to mainstream media, but is emerging as a force to shape the behavior of mainstream media. For me, simply put, Twitter is the new-age Parliament and Facebook is the new-age café. Other platforms like Linkedin and Google+ are yet to appeal to journalists, as far as I can see. Linkedin is majorly for self-promotion and works great to brands and self; however journalists prefer a more informal environment and wider reach which works against Linkedin. Talking about Google+, there are two things that can help you – knowledge & information and contact & people - and G+ doesn't score high on either. Facebook and Twitter have become hubs, while Google+ is still to become one, hence it doesn't score too high. Madhavan Narayanan, Columnist/ Associate Editor at Hindustan Times Gagandeep Singh Sapra, Entrepreneur & Popularly known as The Big Geek I cannot say about others, but for me social media has helped me get real time feedback about what people think about a new product or feature. Earlier, the conversations were limited to few people; however, with the aid of social media, that's changed tremendously. I don't use social media to set the topic of my stories; rather I use to build on them. In other words, conversations on social media don't influence what I write, but of course the tonality does get affected because of real time feedback. EXPERT SPEAK SECTION 4
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