78% of journalists fear for the future of the profession, according to latest research by technology company Cxense.
The report – featuring insight from 153 journalists across the US, UK and mainland Europe – found that journalists fear a widespread erosion of quality journalism, fake news, declining funding and shrinking newsrooms. These amongst other factors are contributing to an environment where journalists have a negative perception of their industry.
According to Cxense, publishers are hedging their bets on digital subscriptions, which respondents agree support long-form, quality content. Meanwhile, an ad-based only model is seen to favour “clickbait” short-form content according to 67%.
The split on whether journalists favour paywalls was very close, with 42% believing that quality journalism should be paid for, whilst 39% disliked them but appreciated their necessity. It appears that journalists understand the need for the industry to be funded in ways beyond the advertising ecosystem.
The report also revealed that almost all journalists (89%) agree that technology has a positive influence, especially in its ability to allow publications to harness reader data. Respondents use data for a number of reasons including analysing article popularity (66%), analysing reader behaviour (49%), and for informing editorial decisions (48%).
David Gosen, Chief Commercial Officer at Cxense comments, “The research has highlighted the very real fears journalists have about the future of the sector. And while it’s difficult to pinpoint one factor as the sole perpetrator of modern journalism’s decline, there is a consensus that more sustainable funding models are needed to support both short and long-form quality content.
“Thriving in 2019 will be no easy feat and a solid, data-driven operation is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s the foundation publishers need to build the revenue streams they require to keep current and improve profit margins. Our research reveals that the journalists of today are onboard with the increasing role of technology and data in their work, so it’s important for publishers to be an ally in securing the industry’s digital future.”
The full report can be downloaded here:
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