Survey Data Shows Journalists Are Covering More Beats; Two-Thirds Produce Content for More Than One Medium

One-Third of Journalists Feel Audiences Trust Them More Than A Year Ago, According to New Muck Rack Report

Journalists are busier than ever, covering four beats compared to three beats just a year ago on average. They’re producing content in more formats, too, according to the results of Muck Rack’s 2022 State of Journalism survey released today.

Just under three-quarters (74%) of journalists say they produce content in addition to online and print, such as newsletters (17%) and podcasts (15%). Half of journalists publish five or more stories per week, with a third publishing eight or more a week.

Audience trust, a significant concern for American news media, appears to be improving for nearly one-third (32%) of journalists who claim trust in their coverage has increased in the past year. Nearly half (47%) said trust has remained the same and 22 percent said it’s decreased.

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Notably, 39 percent of journalists covering health & wellness, agriculture and religion said trust of their coverage has increased, while some journalists covering weather (29%) and regional/local news (28%) said trust decreased.

Sentiment surrounding journalists’ work has remained consistent. For the fourth year in a row, more than half (58%) of journalists said they are optimistic about their profession. Journalists in fashion & beauty and religion are the most optimistic, while those covering weather and crime are the least.

How News is Discovered, Shared and Covered

Most journalists (57%) look to online newspapers or magazines for news, while nearly one-fifth (18%) get their news from Twitter, a slight increase from 2021 (16%). Twitter remains the most valued social media platform, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn, and around half of journalists said they plan to spend more time on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube in 2022. The number of journalists who cite TikTok as most valuable doubled from 2 to 4 percent year-over-year.

Fewer journalists (44%) say that the way companies share information is outdated, a significant decrease from last year, when 61 percent of journalists said as much, indicating that PR pros are improving the way they share information.

The PR/Journalist Relationship

Most journalists feel positive or neutral about their relationship with PR pros, with more than half calling it mutually beneficial.

Most journalists say they are just as likely to respond to pitches as last year, while nearly a quarter are more likely to respond. According to the survey, preferred pitches:

  • Are sent earlier in the workweek
  • Are sent earlier in the day
  • Are less than 200 words
  • Are emails that are timely and personalized

Methodology

Now in its sixth year, The State of Journalism study aims to take a pulse on how journalists get their news, how they’re using social media and how they work with PR professionals. Muck Rack surveyed 2,547 journalists from Jan. 4-25, 2022.

Muck Rack conducted The State of Journalism 2022 in partnership with Online News Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Foreign Press Association, Native American Journalists Association, International Journalists Network and numerous other journalism-focused organizations.

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