Continuing our dive into data-driven PR, this week we’re looking at data-driven journalism. Today, reporters face a perfect storm of reader distrust, new consumption platforms and a rising tide of available data. But don’t take my word for it, let’s look at the numbers. (See what I did there?)
1. America's faith in news sources is eroding
With “post-truth” rhetoric and “fake news” allegations at an all-time high, Americans are wary of traditional media outlets, as well as the White House itself. A recent poll from The Morning Consult & Politico found that only 52 percent of Americans trust the credibility of the White House, and the media isn’t far behind. Most outlets are hovering around the 60 - 55 percent credibility marker.
This shift in public opinion puts the pressure on journalists and editors to create trustworthy content. For many reporters, that means backing up sources and statements with credible data.
2. Americans are getting their news from new places
According to Pew Research, Americans have shifted where they get their news; moving away from print and radio towards digital and TV. And as we all know, bite-sized, list-style content is a strong fit for these visually-driven outlets.
Additionally, mobile news consumption continues to skyrocket with 72 percent of Americans getting their news from their cell phones. And as a medium, news read on mobile apps is primed for shortform, data-driven stories.
3. The data is out there
Luckily for reporters looking to jump on the data-train, data is widely available. Popular sources include:
So, what does this mean for PRs and marketers?
Companies working with the media may notice a host of new job titles popping up on their favorite mastheads, including “data journalist” or “data editor.” This shift gives PRs and marketers the opportunity to reframe their approach to thought leadership. For example, your CEO may believe strongly in a certain trend, but needs credible data to effectively tell that story. Numbers are quickly becoming the best way for companies and reporters alike to gain readers’ trust, and to stay credible in this new data-driven era.