Media Survey: The Best Ways to Work with Journalists in 2020

Share Article

MediaSource survey of more than 100 journalists reveals media climate amid a pandemic and racial injustice

“If you’re a communicator navigating the unknowns of 2020, you need to know what a journalist wants and needs,” said Lisa Arledge Powell, MediaSource President. “Their jobs have changed and ours have, too. If you’re not keeping up, you won’t last."

Journalists believe 2020 has left a permanent mark on the way they report the news, even in a year with a presidential election. According to a MediaSource survey, 80% of journalists predicted that COVID-19 will be the biggest story for the rest of the year and 67% believe their newsroom will never be the same. Meanwhile, 100% said they are now more open to receiving content in new ways, with most significantly more willing to accept videos shot with video conferencing software or smartphones.

In 2020, journalists have worked through a global pandemic, a worldwide movement against racial injustice and a presidential election campaign. The supercharged news cycle is churning out stories quicker than ever before to satisfy consumers’ unprecedented demand for information during this monumental year.

To take stock of how these culture-altering events have impacted the media, the industry leaders at MediaSource surveyed journalists nationwide to better understand how their world has changed and how that impacts the way in which they cover the news. As communicators, we want to be better partners to journalists and better stewards of promoting brand stories for our clients during this pivotal time in history. We can’t do that without knowing how they feel.

“If you’re a communicator navigating the unknowns of 2020, you need to know what a journalist wants and needs,” said Lisa Arledge Powell, MediaSource President. “Their jobs have changed and ours have, too. If you’re not keeping up, you won’t last. We wanted to determine what you need to know to be a communications rockstar for the rest of 2020 and beyond.”

The survey asked journalists questions in three major categories:
How their world and the way in which they cover the news has changed
How their need for diversity, equity and inclusion has evolved
How their overall story needs have changed

The survey included 102 media professionals who work as journalists for media outlets in television, print, online or radio. Each journalist’s position was verified by MediaSource public relations staff. Of those surveyed, 46% work in television, 43% work for a print and/or online outlet and 11% work in radio. Eighty percent work for a local media outlet and 20% work for a national media outlet.

Journalists had opportunities to share their thoughts and give examples that are included in a full, comprehensive report that can be downloaded below, along with our tips on how communicators can put new practices into place based on the changing needs of the news media. Their opinions shed light on how journalists are responding to the pandemic, racial equality and new methods of reporting.

“We’re always looking for resources and stories that help the community deal with what’s going on with racism, COVID-19 and protests,” said one TV news anchor, “but we have no time to deal with our own feelings and address the depression, unrest, anger, sadness, etc. that we, as humans, are dealing with. It’s a tough time.”

But 2020 doesn’t have to just be about those three topics, and journalists are very aware of that as well. Many told us that they’d like to cover other stories, but haven’t had the resources, submissions or time.

“My biggest frustration is having the resources to cover news stories not related to the pandemic or racial inequality,” one TV news producer said. “Stories that would have been a big deal five months ago hardly get the time and attention they deserve.”

To download the full report, which includes thoughts and examples from reporters along with MediaSource tips and takeaways, visit http://www.mediasourcetv.com/commshelp.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Shannon McCormick
MediaSource
+1 (614) 932-9950
Email >
@MediaSourceTV
since: 06/2008
Follow >