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Newspapers: 55% PR and 90% copied?

Newspapers: 55% PR and 90% copied? And we want to preserve this why?

Yesterday’s post mentioned Australian research that suggested 55% of newspaper content was “Press Releases”. Well now the Neiman Journalism Lab looked into the reporting of major stories and found only around 11% of newspaper stories had any original reporting on the subject.

One set of research considered total content – news vs PR – this second piece of research compares the reporting on the same story to see how much is original.

So I wonder, what do “journalists” for most newspapers actually do each day?






One response to “Newspapers: 55% PR and 90% copied?”

  1. David Dawkins


    The few remaining? Rewrite national for the local angle, run through other local news sources to ensure they have have not missed any stories, freshen yesterdays stories, deal with phone calls from other company papers looking for angles and info for their paper, write for the net, sip cold coffee, try to find sources for new stories, try to find three sources to support each other, cover press conferences, city hall and other forms of government, courts and legal, try to find some one who can cover school board meetings, deal with the stack of press releases, and well… lots of other things including make deadline.

    Australian media were among the first advocates of the one man band. I suspect they may be a bit ahead of most of the world on the money crunch curve. The consolidation of media ownership and the fiscal situation means everyone has more than one mouth to feed with less than 30 years ago. The technological revolution is much faster than the ability of anyone to learn multiple standards in software and hardware.

    There are many blogs on the web aimed at resolving frustrations of all the variations of multimedia journalists. Read that as writer/editor/camera person/ webhead/audio person/geek/lighting person/ producer/ interviewer and chief cook and bottle washer. Faster and cheaper not better.

    I am sure you have heard, seen or read coverage in the past month where you just shook your head at the errors.