Report: Fake news has reporters demanding accuracy

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Being fast is important, but a new study says it’s more important to be

Cision surveyed 1,355 journalists from six different countries, developing
a snapshot of the current state of play in the news media industry. While
good news came for major outlets like The New York Times,
respondents said they still were on the lookout for fake news and wanted
more accuracy from PR pros.

The report said:

According to three-quarters of the survey’s respondents, being 100 percent
accurate in their reporting is more important than being first on a story
or the promise of exclusivity. As well, 56 percent of journalists said fake
news accusations are causing audiences to become more skeptical about the
content they produce.

This sentiment wasn’t confined to the United States. Sixty-three percent of
respondents in the United Kingdom said the public had lost trust in
journalism; in France, 42 percent agreed, and Canada came in at 69 percent.

What does that mean for brand managers and PR pros? The report argues
communicators and media relations teams should make accuracy their No. 1

It said:

Most [journalists] are happy to work with public relations professionals,
provided they’re giving them information that’s accurate, newsworthy, and
that can be used to enhance their coverage.

Social media trends

The report also looked at how journalists were continuing to struggle with
social media’s impact on their industry. Specifically, respondents said
they worried about algorithm changes (34 percent), cheaper video production
technology (26 percent) and artificial intelligence (21 percent) as factors
that would change their day-to-day work.

What reporters want from PR

The report had good news for PR pros, too. Reporters said they continued to
rely on relationships with PR pros, with 20 percent saying relationships
with PR folk were more important than ever.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: How reporters use social media in their jobs]

There was also good news for the press release: Reporters still want them.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they wanted a press release or news
announcement from PR sources, and 44 percent said they trusted press
releases more than other contact methods, including spokespeople and
organization websites.

The report also offers ideas for PR pros to make their press releases more
effective. Respondents ranked their preferences as:

1. Clearly state your news hook (45 percent)

2. Tell your story conversationally (27 percent)

3. Add quality quotes (17 percent)

4. Include multimedia (11 percent)

Blogs don’t build trust

The report suggested that your organization’s blog is a helpful tool—but
not when it comes to building trust with your audience.

The report states:

Continuing to make earned media a priority is still important, too. Using
owned channels, like a website or company blog, can provide some context
and useful information, but it’s not useful for reporting a story. In fact,
only three percent of global respondents said that a company blog is a
trustworthy source of brand information for their stories. Getting someone
to speak to a journalist directly, versus just pointing them to your site,
is still important today.

Make the news hook explicit

The biggest finding of the survey might be that PR pros are still burying
the lede.

As reporting staffs continue to shrink and media requests flood inboxes,
it’s more important than ever to get to the point. Twenty-eight percent of
respondents said PR pros could do a better job of researching media outlets
and understanding what a reporter needs before pitching. Another 27 percent
said PR pros should be more ready with their data and expert resources.

Read the full report from Cision
to understand what journalists want to see from PR pros and how your
efforts can win your organization better news coverage.

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