Digital Media Dominates As Publications Negotiate Advertising Slump

New International Study by Oriella PR Network Finds Journalists Generally Happy with Their Jobs and Positive about the Impact of Digital Media on News-Gathering, Despite Uncertainty around “Offline” Media

Paid Content is Gaining Ground: One Fifth of Journalists Confirm Publications Are Researching Paid Content Models Including Apps and Micropayments

SAN FRANCISCO – Journalists today have greater demands than ever on their time; have less scope to research stories; and work in an environment of continued uncertainty, according to a study published today by the Oriella PR Network. For all these challenges, however, the third annual Digital Journalism Study finds journalists positive about the impacts of digital and social media on their reporting, and overall job satisfaction remains overwhelmingly high.

The study polled 774 journalists in 21 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and Germany, and found that:

– Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) to this year’s study said they are expected to produce more content than before
– One in three (30 percent) are working longer hours
– However, nearly half (46 percent) said their work has improved as a result of digital and social media – an increase from 39 percent in 2009
– Just 17 percent said their job satisfaction had declined as a result

At the same time, the study uncovered growing uncertainty over the future of ‘offline’ media, such as print, TV and radio, including:

– Forty percent of the respondents expect advertising revenues to fall by more than a tenth
– Over half of the respondents expressed the belief that their publications’ current offline formats may fold at some point in the future (2009 figure: 32 percent)
– However, 40 percent – and more than half of those polled in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Brazil and Eastern Europe – believed that the transition to new media would create new opportunities.

In response, growing numbers of publications are researching, or have implemented paid-content strategies. Nearly one respondent in four (22 percent) said their publication is researching or has launched smart phone apps in order to deliver paid-content to mobile users and 16 percent are researching paid-content for iPads and e-readers. Twenty-five percent said their publication is considering flat-rate subscriptions and nearly a third (30 percent) only offer online content to existing print subscribers.

The study also demonstrates the extent to which digital and social media – i.e. blogs, Twitter and audio/visual content – have embedded themselves in newsrooms. Fewer than 15 percent of the journalists surveyed said their publications support no social or digital media at all – down from nearly a quarter two years ago. Meanwhile, adoption of blogs and Twitter has continued to grow, with 47 percent saying their publications have journalist-authored blogs, and 40 percent saying their publications use Twitter.

Shannon Latta, co-head of the Oriella PR Network and partner at Horn Group, said: “Our third annual study shows how widely digital and social media have embedded themselves into media organisations. While there is still a lot of experimentation going on, it is clear that publications see the greatest opportunities in their digital operations – not just in terms of offering new platforms for publishing content, but also in terms of making that content pay.”

“As these changes play out in newsrooms, communicators should expect journalists to become more demanding: their content needs to be high quality to attract the revenues media bosses expect. Brand communicators must make sure their public relations is coordinated across both social and conventional media, and addresses the basic requirements of news-gathering: strong news hooks, timely and compelling comment, and excellent, relevant visuals.”

About the 2010 Digital Journalism Study

The third annual Oriella Digital Journalism Study was compiled in May and June 2010, using an online survey of 774 journalists from broadcast, national, regional and trade media across Belgium, Brazil, Eastern Europe, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, The U.K. and The U.S. This year includes journalists from Brazil, Eastern Europe and the U.S. for the first time. The full report can be downloaded from: (registration required).

About the Oriella PR Network

The Oriella PR Network is an alliance of 17 communications agencies in 20 countries around the world. Our partnership of independent agencies was 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 Group with the support of agencies around the world with whom they have worked successfully on client projects – in some cases for many years. Oriella partners exist in major and secondary markets throughout The Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific.

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