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Muck Rack, SPJ survey data shows journalists cover more beats than before; produce content for more than one medium


John Shertzer, SPJ Executive Director, 317-920-4781, jshertzer@spj.org
Linda Zebian, Muck Rack Director of Communications, linda@muckrack.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists has partnered with Muck Rack and nine other journalism organizations to present “The State of Journalism 2022: Social media habits, reporting strategies, PR pitching preferences and more.”

Journalists are busier than ever, covering four beats compared to three beats just a year ago on average. They’re producing content in more formats, too, according to the results of Muck Rack’s 2022 State of Journalism survey released today.

Just under three-quarters (74%) of journalists say they produce content in addition to online and print, such as newsletters (17%) and podcasts (15%). Half of journalists publish five or more stories per week, with a third publishing eight or more a week.

Audience trust, a significant concern for American news media , appears to be improving for nearly one-third (32%) of journalists who claim trust in their coverage has increased in the past year. Nearly half (47%) said trust has remained the same and 22 percent said it’s decreased.

Notably, 39% of journalists covering health & wellness, agriculture and religion said trust of their coverage has increased, while some journalists covering weather (29%) and regional/local news (28%) said trust decreased.

Sentiment surrounding journalists’ work has remained consistent. For the fourth year in a row, more than half (58%) of journalists said they are optimistic about their profession. Journalists in fashion & beauty and religion are the most optimistic, while those covering weather and crime are the least.

Most journalists (57%) look to online newspapers or magazines for news, while nearly one-fifth (18%) get their news from Twitter, a slight increase from 2021 (16%). Twitter remains the most valued social media platform, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn, and around half of journalists said they plan to spend more time on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube in 2022. The number of journalists who cite TikTok as most valuable doubled from 2% to 4% year-over-year.

Fewer journalists (44%) say that the way companies share information is outdated, a significant decrease from last year, when 61% of journalists said as much, indicating that PR pros are improving the way they share information.
Most journalists feel positive or neutral about their relationship with PR pros, with more than half calling it mutually beneficial.

Most journalists say they are just as likely to respond to pitches as last year, while nearly a quarter are more likely to respond. According to the survey, preferred pitches:

• Are sent earlier in the workweek
• Are sent earlier in the day
• Are less than 200 words
• Are emails that are timely and personalized

Now in its sixth year, The State of Journalism study aims to take a pulse on how journalists get their news, how they’re using social media and how they work with PR professionals. Muck Rack surveyed 2,547 journalists from Jan. 4-25, 2022.

In addition to SPJ, Muck Rack conducted The State of Journalism 2022 in partnership with Online News Association, Foreign Press Association, Native American Journalists Association, International Journalists Network and numerous other journalism-focused organizations.

For the first time, Muck Rack has created a quiz where folks can test their knowledge of journalism trends. For full survey results and to sign up for a free virtual discussion breaking down the data at 1 p.m. EDT April 5, visit Muckrack.com.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

Muck Rack enables organizations to build trust, tell their stories and demonstrate the unique value of earned media. Its Public Relations Management (PRM) platform curates millions of data points to help PR teams be more efficient and effective at finding journalists, generating coverage, monitoring news and proving the value of their work. Journalists use Muck Rack’s free tools to showcase their portfolios, analyze news about any topic and measure the impact of their stories. Founded in Brooklyn, NY in 2011, Muck Rack’s fully-remote workforce is distributed around the world. Learn more at Muckrack.com.


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