Making Sense of the Global State of the Media Report
Posted: Nov 06, 2020
Things are undoubtedly turbulent in the media these days, and it can be difficult for journalists to see the blurred lines that political discord has created for them. Thankfully, Cision’s 2019 Global State of the Media Report has arrived. Long known to be a journalist’s creed, the report provides an overview of world affairs through the lens of the typical journalist. We are taking the time here to highlight some of the key points from the report to help provide an outline for journalists to keep in mind for the remainder of the year and beyond.
Remembering the Mission
The 2019 report reminds individuals of the values of the common journalist – a critical message when "truth" is subject to partisan attacks. It also urges them to reexamine them now more than ever as their profession is under attack by cries of "fake news", or sophisticated campaigns of misinformation and redirection.
The 2020 Presidential Election cycle highlighted the challenges facing contemporary journalism. The election polling showed Joe Biden with a high probability of a landslide and the actual election results turned out to be a nail-biter that took days to settle, further undercutting the credibility of journalists.
"The reputation of journalism has been eroded over the past decade as news organizations have been gutted and advertising revenues have declined precipitously," notes Todd William, founder and CEO of Reputation Rhino, an online reputation management company in New York City, "the quest for viral content and clickbait has pushed people to getting news and information from their social network rather than their local news network."
Media organizations today such as NBC, CNN, and FOX News have a much tighter grip on their journalists and are often to be blamed for pushing particular stories to curry the favor of their political allies and financers. As a journalist in this climate, it can be difficult to remain impartial, if not nearly impossible. Trust is essential to reputation, and while it takes a long time to build trust, it can be quickly and permanently damaged.
2019 Journalist Goals and Outlook
The 2019 goals and general outlook for journalists are touched upon on the report. This section indicates where journalists should be spending their time and resources. They have, at times, predicted significant shifts in journalism practices and methods of operation. In this year’s entry, it is believed that journalists are looking to better understand their audience, the people who believe in them and expect them to deliver honest reporting.
Using Analytics to Evolve
The age of the internet has done a lot of damage to standard journalism, but it has also done a lot of good. Journalists today are looking to wield power with responsibility, using sophisticated analytics to decipher their demographics and deliver the kind of news their readers need to hear. With the 2020 election just around the corner, it is perhaps more important than ever that journalists know who their audience is.
The age of the Internet has also ushered in a period where a small publication in Virginia is being read by someone in the bustling metropolis of Dubai. The 2019 Cision report indicates that 43% of papers today still measure success by the number of readers they have – readers who could be from anywhere in the world. In some ways, it can be argued that this forces a publication to curate their content differently to better reach a wider audience. Something that, of course, augments the work and responsibility of the journalist.
Resources and Social Media
It is stated on the report that "journalists now believe social networks bypassing traditional media is the biggest challenge facing journalism" and this is true, as many people, millennials primarily, consume their news through social media platforms, making it more difficult to track where they get their info. Journalists today can feel overwhelmed and under-equipped to deal with the steady inflow of misleading reports and lies online.
A Bleak Future?
While the future might appear bleak, it may not have to be. Journalists need to use the resources at hand, make relevant pitches to their editors, and twist across the maze of fragile data and impressionable minds. Cision reminds the common journalist once again that the world is changing fast and that their profession is one that requires adaptation and a lot of grit.
Michael Kelly is a Freelancer Writer, Entrepreneur and passionate blogger. A writer by day and a reader by night.