#MediaInsights Report Evolving sources of news for media - A Study Digital and social media have been prominent buzzwords in the communications business, where professionals are increasingly leveraging interactive tools to gather information and communicate with more targeted and global audiences. The impact of the virtual world has penetrated the macrocosm that is the Indian media. The Media Insights report, conducted by multidisciplinary communications firm 20:20 MSL in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Mass Communications, sheds light on the spark behind the ideation and execution of a journalists story in the present-day scenario. The report is based on one-on-one interviews conducted with a stratified sample of 309 journalists from regional and national publications across the country. The report reveals the growing redundancy of the one-time star of the communications world the press release. The waning interest in the standard-format, and now mundane, document stems from a clutter of corporate news releases that media outposts are faced with on a daily basis. Additionally, a common sentiment that journalists have expressed is the need for first-hand fact-checking before their stories are filed. This is precisely the need that social networks fulfill. Even while adherence to convention may be the risk-free way to go, what communications professionals must understand is the scope for successful storytelling and message delivery through a social interface that empowers users to exchange content and facilitate meaningful conversations and actions.
Transcript of #MediaInsights Report
#MEDIAINSIGHTS REPORT EVOLVING SOURCES OF NEWS FOR MEDIA A STUDY
About 20:20 MSL: 20:20 MSL is one of India's largest multidiscipline communications firms and a leader in the area of specialty communications services including corporate reputation management, strategic media relations, analyst relations, social media, crisis and issues management, events and activation services. The firm is also the acknowledged leader in technology communications space in India. Through its powerful network of more than 150 staff across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune, as well as the reach of the MSLGROUP and Publicis Groupe international network, 20:20 MSL partners with more than 100 leading Indian brands and multinationals to deliver world-class communications. About IIMC: The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) is one of India's premier institutes for training, teaching and research in mass communication. Set up to impart quality education and conduct research with special reference to the socio-economic growth in the country, it was set up by the Government of India in 1965 on the recommendation of a team of internationally known mass communication specialists from UNESCO and the Ford Foundation.
With a tremendous media explosion and the proliferation of large amounts of data online (especially on social media) and the emergence of more than 300 round-the-clock news channels, the speed at which information is sourced, sifted and included in news stories has undergone a paradigm shift. 20:20 MSL, one of India's premier Public Relations firm and the Advertising & Public Relations Department of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) joined hands to research the changing patterns of news sourcing by journalists and their effect on the news writing. The current research, exploratory in nature, has been undertaken with a view to understanding the changing patterns of news sourcing by media persons and the concomitant effect on news story writing. This first-of-its- kind research combined the academic expertise of IIMC with the professional rigour of 20:20 MSL to arrive at insights that would benefit India's media and communications industry. The findings of this study are aimed at benefiting PR/communication agencies and practitioners in leveraging their strategies and tactics. Mr. Sunit Tandon, Director General, IIMC & FOREWORD RESEARCH TEAM: IIMC Research lead : Professor Jaishri Jethwaney, PhD. Team members : Krishna Pandey, Narendra Singh Rao and Prarthana & 20:20 MSL The research was conducted through one-on-one interviews with a number of journalists based in Delhi and telephonic interviews with journalists from various other cities and towns. A stratified sample of 309 journalists was identified, encompassing a cross-section of 239 English and 60 Hindi-language print media outposts, news and business television channels and digital media organizations. Ten other journalists were selected from Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telegu media. A pre-determined and encoded questionnaire for face-to-face interviews was designed along with a research guide for telephonic interviews. Researchers on the team comprised seasoned media and communications academicians and practitioners from IIMC and 20:20 MSL. The research operates on the hypothesis that digital and social media have become important sources of research and news sourcing for journalists. The research universe was drawn keeping in view, the state of Internet penetration in the country. The sample was carefully chosen to cover a cross section of media in metro and mini metro cities of India. It is planned to undertake a series of such research studies in future that would cover language & regional media adequately. METHODOLOGY Chetan Mahajan, Managing Director, 20:20 MSL
PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS Total = respondents309 Experience (in years) North 215 South 45 West 38 East 11 15% 70% 12% 3% Number of journalists by region 68% Male 211 32% Female 98 Over 21 yrs. 16-20 yrs. 11-15 yrs. 6-10 yrs. Less than 5 yrs. 7%22 40 13% 110 36% 105 34% 32 10% Gender ratio
By beat (multiple response) Science & Tech Business & Corporate 21% Development Political Lifestyle & Entertainment 15% 3% 10% 5% 29%12%5% Legal Sports Others 86 64 21 49 44 20 12113 By media type 10% Financials 31 6% Business Magazines 19 4% Trade Magazines 13 14% Other Magazines 43 12% Electronic 38 31% Mainlines 95 18% Wire 54 5% Online 16 By Language The universe comprised mainstream newspapers and magazines, financial and trade papers, wire agencies, online portals and news channels. The journalists from various media were represented as reflected in the chart below. Bengali Marathi 4 1% 2 1% Gujarati Hindi 0%1 60 20% Telegu 2 1% 1 0%Tamil English 77%239 PS: Since there are some journalist who cover more than one beat, the total will not reconcile with the total number of respondents i.e. 309 - this content needs to be moved to the next page. This is applicable for "By Beat (multiple response)" section.
CONTENTS Key Findings The Number Game The First step to the big story The Press Release Story Most Importantly, Are they used? How are they used? Talking about favourite sources What about genuineness of the source? Is gender a barrier? The net connect What is the social quotient? Most 'likes' for facebook 07 08 10 15 19 21 24 27 30 33 37 40
KEY FINDINGS PR/communication agencies and companies need to use the Net vigorously to reach out to the journalists faster. Communication agencies are best placed advising their clients to post crisp content, sound bytes, clips and pictures on their web sites as journalists, especially in crisis situations, look for authentic pieces of information amid grapevine. They also look for quotes from company spokespersons that could easily be made available through company web sites. The traditional way of writing and sending press releases has long become outdated. There is clearly a need to reinvent touch points, formats, styles and objectives of press releases when over 47% journalists use less than 10% of the press releases they receive. It is crucial for the sources of dispatching news releases to be exclusive. Checking on the veracity of sources involves identifying more innovativetouch points across social media, company web sites and blogs, among others. A majority of journalists cutting across age, gender and specialization use the Internet to develop their stories. The benefits they garner from the digital space range from story conceptualization and content validation to background research and insights into current and evolving news updates and trends. Social networking sites have evolved as an important platform for journalists, who leverage them to gauge public opinion during crisis situations. Company websites are accessed to get authentic information, especially for quotes.
8 The first section of the questionnaire focused on how many stories journalists write per week and what triggers their story ideas. Conversations with the 309 journalists interviewed reflect that the number of stories journalists write declines as their level of seniority increases. However, the number of stories they edit makes up for the time spent away from writing and reporting. Also, the research indicates that journalists from the North contribute the most number of stories. Senior journalists write lesser stories than their younger counterparts #mediainsights Journalists in the North contribute the most number of stories #mediainsights THE NUMBER GAME SECTION 1
9 South Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 11-15 More than 15 Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 11-15 More than 15 Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 1-5 Between 6-10 Between 11-15 East WEST North 8% 46% 12% 34% 24% 69% 05% 02% 18% 82% 10% 3% 58% 29% THE NUMBER GAME SECTION 1
10 THE FIRST STEP TO THE BIG STORY The research sheds light on how journalists conceive story ideas. Internal meetings, tip-offs, events and primary research were the most popular sources with 63 percent of journalists relying on these activities for story ideas. Internal brainstorm sessions and editorial meetings were found to be the most preferred sources for generating fresh content-related ideas. Online content and social networks seem to be triggers for the same pie of journalists across all experience levels. In an informal interview chat, one of the journalists said that reading and surfing could provide some cues, but that it was sheer hard work when one finally wrote a story. There was no way one could do desktop stories, said another journalist. Yet, another journalist felt that the Net could provide a trigger. Seasoned journalists, more often than not, develop sustainable relationships with their sources, consult experts and interview key people to get the flavour for the subjects they are reporting on. Looking specifically at regional variations in story conceptualization, more journalists from the South look for story triggers in competitive media vis-- vis other regions. The regional analysis also indicated that most journalists from East draw on events to evolve fresh story ideas. The popularity of interactive formats provides an immense opportunity for corporates to reach out to media in the East through press events. SEC