New Survey Finds Journalists Fairly Pessimistic, Worried by Economic Pressures

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A major new survey of journalists about the state of the news profession finds news people are fairly pessimistic about the future and more worried about economic pressures than they were five years ago. The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

A major new survey of journalists about the state of the news profession finds news people are fairly pessimistic about the future and more worried about economic pressures than they were five years ago. The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The results are under embargo until Sunday, 4 P.M. Eastern time.

The survey released today builds on a survey done by the same two organizations in 1999. Among the findings:

·    Journalists are split over whether journalism is headed in the right or wrong direction.

·    They are much more likely to believe economic pressure is eroding the quality of journalism than they were five years ago.

·    The division between journalists and executives is bigger than five years ago. Confidence in the management of news companies is markedly lower than it was in 1999. The two groups even disagree on the extent of cutbacks in newsrooms.

·    Journalists feel less cynical and less remote from the public than five years ago, and they are more accepting of new technology.

·    But they also have less confidence in the ability of Americans to make wise decisions.

·    Network TV people are most pessimistic of all.

·    Journalists are more apt to describe themselves as liberal than they were in a separate 1995 survey, but their definition of liberalism may be more libertarian than traditionally liberal.

The survey is a component of the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s report on the State of the News Media, released in March 2004, and can be found online at: http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/journalist_survey.html. (Link will go live at 4 PM Sunday.)

In addition to the survey report by the Pew Research Center, the release includes a separate commentary on the findings by PEJ staff and Bill Kovach, Chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

Several people are available for interviews:

SUNDAY CALL:

Tom Rosenstiel, Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism

202-437-4668

Amy Mitchell, Associate Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism

202-437-3715

MONDAY CALL:

Andy Kohut, Director, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

202-293-3126

Tom Rosenstiel, Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism

202-293-7394

Bill Kovach, Chairman, Committee of Concerned Journalists

202-293-7394

Embargoed:    Sunday, May 23, 2004, 4 PM EDT

SUNDAY CONTACT: 202-437-4668 or 202-437-3715

MONDAY CONTACT: 202-293-7394 or 202-293-3126

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Tom Rosenstiel or Amy Mitchell
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