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June 25, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:58am

Journalists worried about future of trade and declining quality, survey claims

By James Walker

Three-quarters of journalists are concerned about the future of the profession while about three-fifths see declining quality as one of its biggest threats, a survey has claimed.

Data management firm Cxense surveyed 153 journalists from the UK, Europe and the United States about the state of the media industry.

Those surveyed work for local, national and international titles in the news, business and lifestyle sectors.

More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of them said they feared for the viability of journalism going forward.

Just under half (46 per cent) had a negative outlook on the future of the industry, compared to 38 per cent who feel positive about it.

Only 7 per cent of the sample of journalists, who were reached through social media display advertising, agreed with the statement that being a journalist meant having good job security.

Cxense chief commercial officer David Gosen said: “The research has highlighted the very real fears journalists have about the future of the sector.

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“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.”

When asked what they felt were the biggest threats to the media trade, 60 per cent of respondents said a decline in quality was a major issue with just over half (56 per cent) laying blame at the feet of readers reluctant to pay for online content.

The Cxense report added that about half of the journalists said fake news (48 per cent), dependency on advertising revenue (47 per cent), shrinking newsrooms (47 per cent) and the decline of print (44 per cent) threatened the profession.

Fewer (35 per cent) saw the failure to prepare for digital transformation as one of journalism’s biggest threats.

Around nine in ten of the survey respondents (89 per cent) felt the increasing use of technology in journalism was a good thing.

Paywalls were viewed as a possible saviour of the news business, with 42 per cent of journalists saying they liked paywalls and 39 per cent saying they didn’t like them but felt they were necessary.

Picture: Pixabay

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