Estudo "The New Normal for News" - Have global media changed forever?
1Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013
Normal for news
Have global media
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?
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
As a result the way journalists work has changed
• ‘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
• 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
• 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
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
Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013
3Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study 2013
global media: an
industry in flux
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
social media and
news-gathering – a
new world order
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
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
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.
HOW DO YOU SOURCE AND VERIFY THE STORIES YOU WORK ON?
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
TWITTER / FACEBOOK / LINKEDIN
THIRD PARTY BLOGS
OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT SOURCES
VIDEO SITES (E.G. YOUTUBE, VIMEO)
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?
ACADEMIC OR EXPERT
TECHNICAL EXPERT IN A COMPANY
A PERSON LIKE YOU
NGO OR CHARITY
REGULATOR OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
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
Journalists are publishers,
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
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
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
Personal blog Personal Twitter
Other Pinterest Instagram
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?
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
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
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
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-
'I READ A NEWSPAPER YESTERDAY' (% OF US READERS)
‘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
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
8 Canalys, February 2013, quoted in Mobithinking Global Mobile Statistics, March 2013 http://mobithinking.com/mobile-mar
Personal blog Personal Twitter
Other Pinterest Instagram
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU OPERATE ON A PERSONAL BASIS?
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
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
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
the rule book gets
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.
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
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
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
Giles Fraser | +44 20 7592 1200 | email@example.com
Sabrina Horn | +1 646 202 9777 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Botica Butler Raudon Partners, New Zealand
Allan Botica | +64 21 400 500 | email@example.com
Buman Media, Russia
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Canela PR, Spain / Portugal
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Jean-Louis Aubert | +33 (0)1 44 59 69 00 | firstname.lastname@example.org
EastWest PR, China / Singapore
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Fink & Fuchs Public Relations AG, Germany
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LVTPR, Belgium / The Netherlands
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Maverick PR, Canada
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MDI Strategic Solutions, Poland
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Vero PR, Thailand / Vietnam
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Candour Communications, India
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