One of the most frequently told stories in media circles in the last couple of years is the way in which the contagion of fake news has actually benefited serious journalism.
Titles that were once struggling to convince readers to part with money for subscriptions and memberships found themselves in the thick of the battle against fake news, and readers suddenly seemed happy to put their hands in their pockets.
The New York Times reported a 10% growth year on year, and The Guardian is on course to hit one million paid supporters in the next year. There’s even a blockchain based media platform coming called Civil which promotes quality journalism yet is leading on reader funded revenue rather than advertising.
According to the annual Cision’s 2018 State of the Media report, which was published this week, fake news might also have served to strengthen established PR companies.
The company surveyed 1,355 journalists from across six countries, and found that there is a renewed trust between editors and PRs as the former seek to differentiate fact from fiction.
The report acknowledged the centrality of issues of trust with 56 percent of journalists saying fake news accusations are causing audiences to become more sceptical about the content they produce. Trust issues are also impacting on the way that the journalists create stories too. The days when media companies rushed to be first to break a story seem to be less important now.
One writer told Cision
“Being mindful of accuracy and attention to facts in everything we do, avoiding production techniques that might misrepresent reality in any way.”
Others also stressed the importance of being accurate rather than first. Also after years where journalists stressed that their primary source of news was social, the media seem to be re-evaluating their relationships with PRs.
Cision asked respondents whether their relationships with PR professionals were more or less valuable today. In response, 70 percent said their relationships remained neutral, while 20 percent said it’s more valuable.
The reports concludes with some words for journalists to PR execs on how they might improve their offering. These include having a better understanding of the journalist’s media outlet, providing data and experts sources when appropriate and including multimedia assets with the pitch.