As I was catching up on some of my industry reading last week, I happened upon a story from Ragan.com titled, "6 PR and social media predictions for 2013.â€» All the predictions were thought provoking, but I thought No. 3 - "The reputable journalist is revived" - was particularly worth sharing.
The author makes the point that the rise of blogging and social media has increased the volume and accessibility of online news, often at the expense of what she calls "responsible reporting." (As evidence, she points to one of the media's less sparkling moments in the past year - the misreporting of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act.) And she asserts that, "The citizen journalist's 15 minutes of fame are running out and information-overloaded consumers will demand a higher standard of reporting in 2013."
I don't know that I'd exclude all of the newer, fast-moving online news sources from the "responsible" category, but I agree with the author's basic point. And I hope she's right.
As consumer tastes for accessing news have evolved, and technology has advanced, newspapers and other once muscle-flexing media outlets have been forced to consolidate, cut corners and gouge newsroom staffs. This trend has had a big impact on media relations efforts, and it has left many a news junkie or would-be informed citizen feeling less-than-satisfied with quantity and quality of news available in their newspaper of choice. As shrinking and shuttering media outlets have cried over the past few years, rebuilding these media outlets will require reader investment (paid subscriptions) in quality reporting.
Maybe 2013 is the year consumers will begin to return to traditional media outlets. That would be good news for media relations pros looking to land stories with those newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations. I'd certainly be happier to see newsrooms grow again, and to see reporters who are able to spend more time and space reporting their stories.
I'm feeling cautiously optimistic for 2013. What do you think - will the "reputable journalist" be revived in the New Year?
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