As mainstream media disintegrates, one of the final plums of pride clutched by those who still work in it is that bloggers are just leeches who depend on them for every last info nugget and pageview. *(In original post, there was a snarky, and, in retrospect, unfair aside here about a dialogue in the comments of this post. Our apologies to Dan Miller).
But now we get the real story.
In anonymous surveys, if not in interviews or religious sermons, mainstream media journalists are finally copping to their dependence on blogs. The 2008 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey queried 1,231 journalists, and here’s what they said:
- Nearly 73% of respondents sometimes or always use blogs in their research.
Of course, there does appear to be at least some self-delusion left in the profession, as the most-cited reason for this dependence was merely “to measure sentiment.” We suppose its possible that that’s what our traditional-media-journalist friends are doing when they refresh TMZ, TechCrunch, SAI, et al, a few dozen times a day, but that’s not what they tell us they’re doing.
The survey also reveals a few other surprises about today’s journalists:
- The vast majority of journalists actually understand that they work for businesses–just like everyone else! Despite the pretentious jawboning about how traditional journalism is a “public trust,” “When asked to identify the most important aspect of their work, 91% of respondents say “make my publication successful by creating appealing content for its audiences.” This raison d’etre finished “ahead of “educate and inform the masses,” “break news,” and “chronicle events as they happen.” We’re glad we finally got that straight.
- Mainstream-media journalists are aware that their struggling employers are trying to adapt to the new world by making them work twice as hard. “50-seven per cent of respondents feel they are being asked to work more today that in the past few years, while 56% say they are contributing to other mediums outside of their official duty. For instance, 39% of newspaper journalists are expected to contribute to the online version of their publication.”
- Newspaper journalists are aware that life is only going to get tougher. 60-seven per cent of newspaper journalists anticipate “declines in print circulation and increased focus on the Web” over the next three years. Also, 38% of newspaper reporters expect to see “reductions in staff” over the next three years.
- Alas, the majority of print journalists are still hallucinating: “60-three per cent of print journalists feel their publication will endure “indefinitely” in its current state.”