[ About Us | Popular | Marcom | AdNet | IChannel | Glossary ]

Mar 30, 2009

Online Journalists More Optimistic About The Future Of Journalism than Print Peers

by Leena Rao on March 30, 2009

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released a study today that claims bloggers and journalists have an “uneasy” optimism about the future of news media on the web. But, the study says, their optimism definitely trumps that of broadcast and print employees in traditional media industries.

According to the study, most journalists who work in the online news industry believe that the internet is having a negative impact on fundamental journalistic values, including a loosening of standards (45% of respondents felt this way), increased emphasis on speed (25%), and the addition of voices from outside the traditional media institutions (31%). While there’s no doubt that the internet is changing the way journalism is conducted and delivered, I’m hesitant to think that speed and increased diversity of viewpoints from outside the industry is detrimental to journalistic integrity.

Online journalists are cautiously optimistic that their publications have viable business models compared to traditional forms of media. Over 60 percent of respondents reported that their online news units were making a profit. But only four out of every ten online journalists are “very confident” that online news can find a profitable business model for journalism, and are worried about the money-making prospects of internet advertising. Roughly two-thirds of journalists surveyed predicted advertising would be the most important form of revenue for news websites in three years. That in itself might be an overly optimistic projection for online advertising revenues, which today only accounts for less than 10 percent of overall newspaper advertising dollars in the U.S., and actually showed a slight decline last year. Print advertising, however, is diving faster than anyone expected.


Self-opinions without acknowledging economic facts blind traditional journalists. The facts are:

- Many writers have shifted from print to online. Why would integrity of content be an issue?

- There are more sources and opinions. Many filtering processes bubble the best, fastest to the top - like Techcrunch ;-)

- For newspapers, ad dollars has dropped below print costs - i.e. paper, print, distribute and associated labor. Regardless of customer preferences, there is no business model to support paper.

- The web business model is challenged by too much inventory. But low burn rates allow online publishers to sustain - until they find the right formula for profitability. Many are profitable, but not the print publishers who hold on to old models without listening to the new reality.

- Print publishers who FOLLOW the latest trends like adding social networking to emulate Facebook and Twitter - will fail. Take a look at http://media.tearn.com and compare the social awareness of old and new media personalities. Too little, too late.

Like our great leader says, Obama, it’s time to innovate and seek even more change. Publishers can only regain the spotlight if they embrace significant change of their own. Unfortunately, that’s not their nature. Sad as most print publishers will head into the deadpool.

Support Our Sponsors: