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New Journalist Survey Highlights Changing Role of Media in Today’s Economy

60% of Respondents Now Contribute to Blogs, Websites or other New Media

CHICAGO (February 11, 2009) – Journalists are more frequently required to contribute to a blog, e-newsletter, website or other new media outlets than any previous year, according to a survey released this week by PWR New Media, a leading e-marketing firm based in Chicago, Illinois.  60% of journalists responded that they now contribute to a blog or other on-line site.  39% of these journalists said they acquired these responsibilities in the past year and 71% added on-line work to their duties in the past two years.

A potential contributor to this shift in job responsibilities is the recession; as jobs are cut at major media organizations, the remaining journalists are required to take on additional responsibilities, mainly in the new media area.  Gone are the days when the print version and the website of a publication had different editorial staff.  Today, a journalist is likely to contribute to all the different forms of communication that his publication uses.  On top of that, new technology has changed the way news is consumed so the new forms of communication are of greater importance.

“I'm writing a LOT more for the web,” commented one journalist.  Another stated that his responsibilities had “completely changed over from print to online. I only work on two printed publications now .... All other newsletters/news is provided via the Web.”

In addition to questions related to direct job responsibilities, PWR also asked how the media wanted to receive, and what they expected with, releases.  89% of surveyed journalists identified email as their preferred method of receiving releases.  In the words of one respondent:  “The best way to ensure that your story is covered is to send the release electronically.  Sending a fax or mailed release puts the story outside of the computer desktop and outside of mind and harder to reuse your language as it would have to be transcribed.”

An almost equal number of journalists (85%) said they wanted images with every release.  “The absolute, most important supplement to a press release is editorial-quality, hi-resolution photographs to illustrate the story,” responded one journalist.  “Good art is always an incentive to continuing with a story; if a good pitch comes along but there isn’t any art available, nine times out of 10, we pass on the story.”

“It is exciting to see the shift from traditional press kits to the more web-friendly New Media Releases,” said Malayna Williams, one of the founders of PWR New Media.  “More and more, we are seeing journalists making new media a priority and we always counsel our clients to make their announcements as web-friendly as they can; thus, making it easier for journalist to incorporate their content.”

The more exposure journalists have to new media, the more they rely on it for information and digital content.  For this reason, as journalists’ duties continue to expand in the new media area, their knowledge base and expectations will also expand.  Therefore, public relations professionals should strive to include digital content, like photos and video with embed codes, in all their releases. 

“We have, for some time, been providing extra content on our website that complements what we are able to include in the magazine.  We are also gearing up our official blog, which will allow us greater flexibility in the immediacy of the topics we can cover,” commented one magazine reporter.

215 journalists participated in the on-line survey and spanned all media types: newspaper (57%), magazine (25%), Internet (5%), television (4%), radio (2%) and news service (2%). For the complete survey results, click here.

About PWR New Media

PWR New Media is a leading marketing firm specializing in New Media press releases and e-marketing.  Founded in 2006, PWR New Media provides high-level counsel and campaign execution for both small businesses as well as Fortune 500 clients, including Energizer, Bath & Body Works, McCormick, and Motorola.  To learn more, please visit

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Malayna Williams
PWR New Media
office: 312.924.4224
cell: 312.925.5152


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