Why life is no picnic for journalists (unless they’re at Wimbledon)

Conducting interviews with journalists throws up few surprises the rising number of news outlets means that they are having to deal with shorter news cycles, and are therefore often expected to work longer hours.

Have you found the need to produce copy for multiple channels has shortened the news cycle?

In partnership with Daryl Willcox Publishing

The main complaint concerning the pressure to produce more work in less time, is that it is hard to maintain standards. Over 80 per cent of those questioned said they cannot offer the same level of insight as they would have been able to previously. The good news for the PR profession is that nearly 60 per cent of journalists questioned said they now depend more on PRO support.

In partnership with Daryl Willcox Publishing

It is not all doom and gloom for journalists – they are still getting invites to great events, even if they don’t always have the time to go. As Emma Hall, London editor at Advertising Age says: “I am just arriving at Wimbledon for a day's tennis punctuated by champagne and strawberries, so today I am thinking that journalism is great!” Hall is also positive about the effects of digital media on journalism, saying: “I still think the industry is thriving and the Internet allows for all sorts of voices to be heard and to be heard more widely – it's opened up and invigorated the whole profession.”

What affect has the shortening of the news cycle had on your work?

 

In partnership with Daryl Willcox Publishing

Although, as Hall points out, the problem is making the industry profitable online. Lack of money makes many fear for future career prospects, especially senior journalists. With media companies trying to produce more news on smaller budgets, junior and inexperienced editorial staff may be the only affordable option. Kay Oliver, broadcaster and trainer at media training company Hawkeye Media , says: “I took two phone calls last week from female friends of mine. Both journalists of a certain age (over 40) who confessed they couldn't get a job for love nor money. Sadly they are not alone, job prospects in the industry have shrivelled up. More journalists than ever before are either out of work, media training, working in PR or teaching. I am advising my son to be a plastic surgeon! He can then give me the facelift I need to compete with all the 20-something blondes currently on TV.”

Methodology

Through Daryl Willcox Publishing, PRmoment asked journalists whether they are affected by a shortening news cycle, and how they are affected. The survey period was 18 June to 22 June 2010. Please note, we wouldn't want to claim this survey was anything more than a straw poll, but hopefully it helps identify some important trends in the media.