In a poll conducted over May and June this year, PR network Oriella asked media moguls how the internet was affecting their business, their publishing formats and even the quality of the content issuing forth from their newsrooms.
From the 770 journalists across 15 countries who took part in the survey, the company determined that, while media creators are slightly more optimistic than they were last year about maintaining revenues vis-a-vis the rise of online ad budgets, many are still worried about whether traditional media formats can succeed in the long run.
“Concerns about the viability of journalists’ traditional media channels (print, radio or television) have intensified,” the report reads.
“When asked about the future of their respective publications, over half of those polled believe that these channels may well fold and be taken off the market… This is a sharp rise from last year, when only one in three journalists surveyed believed this would happen. Nearly one in six confirm this has already happened to their publication,” it says.
However, many respondents also said that publishers were considering new online sources of revenue, such as paywalls, membership plans, and premium mobile content for phones and tablets. This may be due to the fact that, over the past two years in particular, publications have been reporting significant loss of reader/viewership as well as ad revenues to online media.
A more optimistic note involved the overall quality of journalism. When asked, “How would you describe the impact these changes have had on the quality of your organization’s journalism over the past two years?” journalists responded mostly favourably. Around 21.5 per cent said that the journalism quality at their publication had decreased. The rest of respondents said the quality of coverage had either stayed the same (32 per cent), gotten better (35 per cent) or gotten much better (11 per cent).
Similarly, changes in media have had a mostly positive or neutral impact on how journalists see their own jobs. Only 16.5 per cent of respondents said they enjoyed their jobs less because of the the shift toward digital media over the past two years.
As far as how media outlets are incorporating digital formats, we’re seeing more journalist-authored blogs and publication-run Twitter accounts, but these publications are pulling back from online video (which is typically more expensive to produce), white-label communities and/or forums, and podcasts.
What do you think of these changes and how journalists and media are handling our overall cultural shift toward a more digital life? What publications are doing a better job of using and profiting from online media, in your opinion?
* Jolie O'Dell reports on social media and technology for Mashable.com.