Sala de Prensa

105
Julio 2008
Año X, Vol. 4

WEB PARA PROFESIONALES DE LA COMUNICACION IBEROAMERICANOS

A R T I C U L O S

   


Newsroom Barometer 2008:
redacciones integradas serán la norma

Una mayoría de directores de medios de comunicación de distintos continentes considera que la lectura de noticias en Internet dominará en el futuro y que las redacciones de los periódicos serán multimedia. Eso es lo que se desprende del "Newsroom Barometer", un sondeo a través de la red entre directores de periódicos organizado por el World Editors Forum, Zogby International y Reuters con ayuda de organizaciones de periodistas y editores como la Asociación Interamericana de Prensa y la ANJ brasileña.

Un 56 por ciento de los directores consultados dice creer que la mayoría de las noticias serán gratuitas en el futuro frente a sólo un 33 por ciento que opina que seguirán costando dinero. Un 44 por ciento estima, por otro lado, que internet será la plataforma de referencia para las noticias en el futuro, frente a un 31 por ciento que opina que seguirá siendo la prensa escrita. En total, un 63 por ciento cree que los formatos más extendidos serán los digitales, ya que al 44 por ciento que apuesta por el predominio de internet hay que añadir quienes lo hacen por la telefonía móvil (12 por ciento) y el llamado papel electrónico (7 por ciento). Preguntados en qué les gustaría emplear los recursos para mejorar la calidad editorial, un 35 por ciento responde que en formar a sus periodistas en los nuevos medios y un 31 por ciento en contratar a nuevos periodistas para producir más coberturas de calidad.

Para los directores de periódicos que han visto reducidas sus plantillas, la prioridad (un 50 por ciento) es contratar a más periodistas, aun reconociendo la necesidad de formar a los ya disponibles en los nuevos medios (un 31 por ciento). Una abrumadora mayoría -86 por ciento en general y hasta un 95 por ciento en Norteamérica- opina con diferente grado de convicción que la redacción integrada o multimedia será la norma en un plazo de cinco años y sólo un 3 por ciento no cree que vaya a ser así. Cuando se les pregunta si dentro de cinco años se esperará de los periodistas que sean capaces de producir contenido para todas las plataformas, un 83 por ciento contesta afirmativamente frente a sólo un 15 por ciento que no comparte esa opinión.

Como en el caso anterior, los directores estadounidenses son, con un 91 por ciento, los que más creen en el periodismo multimedia, frente a un 83 por ciento de los europeos occidentales y un 70 por ciento de los asiáticos. Un 53 por ciento de los encuestados dice disponer ya de una redacción integrada y el porcentaje no varía demasiado según las zonas del mundo: un 68 por ciento en Norteamérica, un 59 por ciento en Europa Occidental, un 34 por ciento en Asia y un 37,5 por ciento en África y Oriente Medio. A la pregunta de que cuándo esperan que su periódico disponga de una redacción integrada, en caso de que no la tengan ya, un 39 por ciento habla de dos años, un 30 por ciento de cinco, un 11 por ciento en diez y un 20 por ciento no sabe.

Un 43 por ciento de los consultados considera "algo probable" que en el futuro se externalicen algunas funciones editoriales tradicionales, pese a la resistencia de las redacciones, y un 22 por ciento lo considera "muy probable". Curiosamente, los directores europeos y americanos son algo menos abiertos a esa posibilidad que rusos, africanos y asiáticos, acaso por creer, señalan los autores del informe, que el llamado "outsourcing" podría ir en detrimento de la calidad editorial. Un 67 por ciento -un 76 por ciento en Europa y sólo un 50 por ciento en Estados Unidos- opina que las páginas de análisis y opinión aumentarán en el futuro, mientras que un 23 por ciento cree que seguirán igual y un 9 por ciento, que disminuirán.

Preguntados por las dos mayores amenazas para el futuro de los periódicos, un 58 por ciento cita la caída del número de lectores jóvenes, mientras que un 38 por ciento menciona Internet y los medios digitales. Otras amenazas que perciben son la falta de innovación editorial (36 por ciento) y la falta de inversiones (29 por ciento).

Por lo que se refiere a la independencia editorial del periódico concreto del encuestado, un 22 por ciento cree que la principal amenaza se deriva de los anunciantes; un 19 por ciento, de las presiones políticas, y un 20 por ciento, de los accionistas. Un 45 por ciento se muestra confiado en que en los próximos diez años va a mejorar la calidad del periodismo frente un 28 por ciento que opina lo contrario y un 22 por ciento que cree que no cambiará.

A continuación, los resultados principales del Newsroom Barometer:

Newsroom Barometer 2008: main results, the integrated newsroom will be the norm

Welcome to the 2008 edition of the Newsroom Barometer, an annual survey of editors around the world conducted by Zogby International and commissioned by the World Editors Forum and Reuters.

The global survey gathered the answers of more than 700 editors and senior news executives from 120 countries, and was conducted online in March 2008.

In last year's Newsroom Barometer, newspaper editors had revealed their overwhelming optimism about the future of their newspapers - an optimism that is still widespread today. In this edition, editors worldwide see neither their newsroom nor their journalists as being "print-only," having clearly accepted the multimedia revolution.

Do you agree or disagree that the "integrated newsroom" or "multimedia newsroom" will be the norm for newspapers in your country in 5 years?

NB-integrated-newsroom.jpg

Among the main results this year:

-  86% believe integrated print and online newsrooms will become the norm, and 83% believe journalists will be expected to be able to produce content for all media within five years.
- Two-thirds believe some editorial functions will be outsourced, despite frequent newsroom opposition to the practice.
- A plurality - 44% - believe on-line will be the most common platform for reading news in the future, compared with 41% last year. Thirty-one cited print (down from 35% last year), 12% mobile and 7% e-paper. The rest were unsure.
- 35% said training journalists in new media was the number one priority for investing in editorial quality. Recruiting more journalists was cited by 31%, up from 22% last year.
- A majority of editors - 56%- believe news in the future will be free, up from 48% from last year's survey. Only one-third believe the news will remain paid for, while 11% were unsure.
- Two-thirds of respondents believe the importance of opinion and analysis pages will increase.
- A majority - 58% - think the decline in young readership is the biggest threat for the future of newspapers.

 
NB - optimism.png"The survey shows that editors-in-chief are already multi-media minded and that they have the capacity to carry out the transition from print-only to print and online," said Bertrand Pecquerie, Director of the World Editors Forum.

The 2008 Newsroom Barometer also brought good news concerning editors' morale. Despite some (see Part 4) growing concerns as to the improvement of the quality of journalism in the future, an overwhelming majority of newspaper editors are still very optimistic about the future of their newspaper.

Newsroom Barometer: Multimedia, multi-skilled and integrated

As newspapers worldwide weigh the decision to integrate their print and online newsrooms and grapple with whether their journalists should be fully multimedia capable or instead keep some specializations, the 2008 Newsroom Barometer asked a series of questions to gauge the current attitudes towards these issues.

Among the main findings:
- 86% believe integrated print and online newsrooms will become the norm in the short term - five years.
- 83% believe journalists will be expected to be able to produce content for all media within five years.
- 83% think newsroom design is an important factor in helping print and online collaboration.
- 53% claim to have an integrated newsroom.
- Among those who don't have an integrated newsroom, more than two thirds (69%) expect to have one within five years.

Do you agree or disagree that the "integrated newsroom" or "multimedia newsroom" will be the norm for newspapers in your country in 5 years?

NB-integrated-newsroom.jpgAn overwhelming majority of respondents, 86%, agreed that the integrated newsroom would be the norm for newspapers in the future. Moreover, nearly half "strongly agreed" that that would be the case. Less than 3% "strongly disagreed." Firstly, this shows that the model of the integrated newsroom, in which journalists are platform-agnostic, is deemed to be the most adapted to the current transition of newspapers. Secondly, it means editors believe these changes will occur very swiftly, if the integrated newsroom is to be "the norm" within five years.

The biggest proponents of the integrated newsroom came from North America, where 95% believe in the integrated newsroom. For other respondents, irrespective of their geographic location, the results were on par with average, although slightly lesser in Africa and Asia, at 74%.

Do you believe that within 5 years journalists in your country will be expected to know how to produce content for all platforms (print, video, audio, Web, mobile, etc.)?

NB - multimedia journalists.pngAs for the previous question - since the integrated newsroom and platform-agnostic journalism are tied together - an overwhelming majority of respondents, 83%, believes in the advent of multimedia journalists. Only 15% disagreed, an impressively low figure considering that most newspapers around the world still have single-platform journalists.
Again, North American respondents were the biggest believers in multimedia journalism, at 91% (62% 'strongly' and 29% 'somewhat'). This contrasts with respondents from Asia and Africa, who were less likely to think journalists would be platform-agnostic (70% and 73.5% respectively). Again, this is presumably because many of these newspapers are still more strongly focusing on their print product.

In your opinion, how important is the physical layout / design of your newsroom in determining how print and online journalists collaborate?

NB - newsr design.pngUnsurprisingly, the vast majority of respondents (83%) believed that newsroom design was at least 'somewhat' (39%) or 'very' (42%) important in determining collaboration among print and online journalists. At a time when some steps of the news process can be achieved with no need for physical proximity, editors still value the importance of a newsroom layout that favors staff interaction and helps make the editorial process more efficient. This also means that editors believe cultural change, through human interaction, is necessary to promote collaboration between print and online.

When do you expect your newspaper to have an integrated newsroom?

NB - when integrated.pngNewsroom integration, though not the norm yet, is among short-term priorities for newspapers and their editors. Of the 319 respondents who said they're newsroom wasn't integrated, a combined 69% expects to integrate within the next five years (39% within the next two, 30% within five). However, one in five respondents still isn't sure when - or perhaps whether - his or her newsroom will be integrated.

There is a correlation between the perceived urgency of newsroom integration and the state of a newspaper's print circulation. For newspapers whose circulation had decreased last year, a combined 80% of respondents expected to integrate within the next five years - including 48% in the next two. This starkly contrasts with newspapers whose circulation increased: 70% expected to integrate newsrooms in the next five years, including 41% in the next two. Editors consider newsroom integration to be more than a simple change in print-online collaboration. Newsroom integration can potentially be an editorial solution to struggles faced by newspapers in print.

Newsroom Barometer: the future of the press

Although some of the main findings of this year's Newsroom Barometer relate to trends of newsroom integration, the survey's results also revealed some major trends as to the future of the press and news in general.

The fact that a large share of editors believe the most common platform for news in the future will be online - and not print - is significant. It is also significant that a majority of them think the majority of news will be free in the future. Even more interesting though is the fact that these numbers have quickly grown since last year.

Among the main findings:

- A plurality - 44% - believe online will be the most common platform for reading news in the future, compared with 41% last year.  Thirty-one cited print (down from 35% last year), 12% mobile and 7% e-paper. The rest were unsure.
- A majority of editors - 56%- believe news in the future will be free, up from 48% from last year's survey. Only one third believe the news will remain paid for, while 11% were unsure.
- Two-thirds believe some editorial functions will be outsourced, despite frequent newsroom opposition to the practice.
- Perhaps one of the sadder findings of this year's Barometer, as only 45% of editors think journalism's quality will improve.

Looking 10 years into the future, what do you think will be the most common way of reading the news in your country?

NB-common-platform.jpgEditors increasingly see online as the platform of reference for news in the future (44% compared to 40% last year), now significantly more so than print (30.6% compared to 35% last year).

Overall, 63% thought a type of digital platform will be the most common format, including 11.5% for mobile and 7% for e-paper, a relatively high figure combined (18.5%) for technologies that are still relatively uncommon. Results for mobile and e-paper stayed stable, indicating that news executives perceived few major evolutions in these technologies over the last year.

Do you think that the majority of news (print and online) will be free in the future?

NB - free news.pngA clear majority of respondents (56%) believe that the majority of news will be free in the future, a significant evolution, as only 47% answered 'Yes' last year. Only a third of respondents (33%) believe news will remain paid for. The future of the paid-for model - paid by users directly - is increasingly put into question, even by those who produce it.
Respondents from Western Europe, the cradle of the paid-for model, were less likely to believe in free news (48%). North American respondents were on par with the average, at 58.5%. The shift towards the free news model is more apparent when it comes to 'emerging' newspaper markets: in South America, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Asia combined, 61% of respondents believed news would be free.

One might have expected Western European and North American editors to be more open to the free news model (after giving birth to freesheets and free online news), but many still think that users should pay for a quality editorial product.

Do you think it very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not all likely that in the future some traditional editorial functions will be outsourced?

NB - outsource.pngSurprisingly, nearly two thirds of respondents (64%) believed that in the future traditional editorial functions will be outsourced, despite frequent newsroom resistance to such announcements. Granted, 44% of editors thought it be merely "somewhat likely," but this shows editors are conscious of - maybe not thrilled by - the growing trend of outsourcing.

One might have expected that North Americans and Europeans (West and East) particularly believe in the outsourcing trend (as the ones primarily concerned by outsourcing due to higher staff costs), but the results pointed in the opposite direction. On average, respondents from other regions of the world were more likely to believe in the outsourcing of editorial tasks in the future.

Over the next 10 years, do you think that the quality of journalism will:

NB - improve qual.pngA near majority thought that journalism's quality would improve (45% versus 27% who thought it would worsen). Yet while this is positive, it also means 55% of respondents didn't affirm that journalism would improve: the finding illustrates both the relative confidence and the uncertainties of this transitional period for the newspaper industry. Furthermore, this number is slightly down from last year, when 50% of respondents thought the quality of journalism would improve.

The hardships for the North American newspaper industry continue to be felt, as a mere 30% of respondents thought that journalism's quality would improve. Similarly, Russians and Eastern Europeans (34%) and West Europeans (45.5%) were skeptical.

Who participated in the Newsroom Barometer?

The 2008 Newsroom Barometer gathered the answers of more than 700 editors and senior news executives from 120 countries, and was conducted online in March 2008.

This was a relatively big increase from the 435 senior news executives who answered the Newsroom Barometer last year.

The goal is to conduct a Newsroom Barometer every year, in order to compare and contrast the newspaper industry's trends over a longer period of time.

Here's a quick view of this year's respondents:

Job Title / others:

NB - job title.pngA near majority of the 713 respondents were editors-in-chief (320), and there were 120 managing editors. All respondents were senior news executives, there were neither journalists nor managers, as was the case in 2006.

Three quarters of respondents were male, underlining a still existent gender gap among top newspaper editorial positions. Circulation at 28% of the surveyed newspapers decreased last year, compared to 39% whose circulation increased. These numbers are both reassuring at a time of widespread doom and gloom reports, but they also reveal the transition print newspapers are going through.

Age:

NB - age.pngThere were more younger respondents (23.5% under 40) than in 2006, although senior editors (age above 50) still constituted 42% of all respondents. The split is representative of the age range of newsroom editors throughout the world.

Type of newspaper:

Compared to 2006, this year's newspapers were more representative of the industry as a whole, as two thirds of respondents came from regional or local papers, compared to a third from national or international titles.

Print circulation:

NB - print circ.pngMany editors from smaller newspapers participated in this year's survey. Nearly half of respondents worked for papers with a print circulation of less than 50,000 copies. 19% of respondents worked for papers with a circulation superior to 200,000 copies.

Website traffic:

For 66% of respondents, their daily website traffic was below 200,000 unique visitors per day, which is also representative of the world press on the whole. 6% still didn't have a website, compared to 9% last year.

More about methodology

The Newsroom Barometer is a purely online survey through the Zogby website (www.zogby.com). The poll was accessible by invitation only and was conducted in eight languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian and Japanese). To avoid answers from people who were not senior news executives, a tailored email was sent to editors-in-chief using the World Editors Forum database (www.worldeditorsforum.org), which counts 7,000 senior news executives' emails.

Newsroom Barometer: Analysis by John Zogby and George Brock

In this section, John Zogby, CEO of Zogby International, and George Brock, World Editors Forum President and editor of the Saturday Times in the UK, comment on the results of the 2008 Newsroom Barometer. Both agree that the results show editors have opened to the new necessities of the digital age, while remaining strongly conscious of the possible threats to their newspapers and journalism.

According to Brock, this year's survey points to the fact that "editors remain confident about a mixed-media future and have quietly got on with the business of integrating their newsrooms," but this is "tempered by anxiety that newspapers are not investing enough in recruitment and training for the future."

The path is clear for many editors: integrate the newsroom, think multimedia, train or hire a team of multi-skilled journalists. So are the threats: lack of investment, lack of training, lack of cultural change.

In the face of these deep changes for the newspaper industry and its organization, editors may often face managerial resistance to undergo these investments. But media companies must be bold. Their editors, for the most part, are ready to be. Said Brock: "I read the message of this year's Newsroom Barometer as an appeal from editors to their companies to be bold in the face of change and as a sign that they themselves intend to make the most of new opportunities."

For Zogby, who goes into more detail about the numeric results (see below), this year's results show that editors have adapted or are adapting to the current redefinition of the 4th Estate, the press, in light of the changes brought in part by the Internet.

"Perhaps the most important finding to emerge from the 2008 survey is that editors remain optimistic about the futures of their papers," as was the case for the previous edition of the Newsroom Barometer, wrote Zogby.

Yet this optimism shouldn't hide the urgency for newspapers to rethink their model. "For these editors the future is self-evident and our survey shows that they see the writing on the newsroom wall.  The evolution of the 4th Estate is no longer questions of if, when or how.  Editors now know the solution:  Innovate.  Integrate.  Or perish."

Read Brock and Zogby's full comments below.

Comments on the 2008 Newsroom Barometer by George Brock

Editors remain confident about a mixed-media future and have quietly got on with the business of integrating their newsrooms. The optimism is not universal and it is tempered by anxiety that newspapers are not investing enough in recruitment and training for the future.

Newspaper managements might reply that investment remains risky when it isn't yet clear where the income from digital publishing is supposed to come from. But newspaper businesses are made by content which creates and sustains demand. The first newspapers did not come about when someone assembled advertising platforms, distribution networks and hardware and afterwards looked for content to put into that system.

The sequence of events was the reverse. Somebody wants to tell as many people as possible something of interest or importance, discovers a sustained curiosity in that information or opinion and eventually a publishing operation grows up to supply the demand. The chain reaction is sparked by interest in the story, view, picture, interview, column, cartoon that's on offer. Without that first moment of ignition, nothing else happens.

You think this sounds a little basic? It is. But you would be surprised how often this simple reality is forgotten as today's media businesses struggle to adapt to a world in which digital technology is rewriting the economics of news publishing.

Online news and opinion has now been with us for long enough to see that no prediction about the future of news which is based on technology alone can tell us the future. Newspapers are not just ink marks on squashed trees: they are what people trust, they amuse people, in short they are a collection of ideas and information with which a reader forms a relationship. Where journalism - whether professional, citizen or any mixture of the two - creates that relationship, something lasting is born and can be sustained. You can see examples of success and failure both online and in print. As the first flush of online innovation and enthusiasm wears off, we can see more clearly that some of the online successes will grow very big indeed, but that only the best will prosper. Making information available - and the web makes it available as never before - does not make it wanted. Newspapers which innovate and adapt will also survive because their qualities are more important than the medium. Some of the failures in both online and print will be terminal.

I read the message of this year's Newsroom Barometer as an appeal from editors to their companies to be bold in the face of change and as a sign that they themselves intend to make the most of new opportunities. Most editors are clear that the essential qualities of good journalism can adapt to a new medium. They accept as a fact needing no further debate that their papers will now reach their constituency by several channels and not by one.

Redefining the 4th Estate: Opinions of the Editors by John Zogby

In the 550 years since the first pages of print rolled off the presses in the Bavarian town of Mainz, printed news evolved relatively unimpeded.  Even the invention and proliferation of radio and television failed to stymie the growth of newspapers, largely due to the ability of newspapers to provide more in-depth coverage.

The centuries-long hegemony of the ink and paper news model today faces its greatest threat--the advent of an independent and free Internet-based media.  This threat was evidenced at the height of the 2005 British elections with the publication of the 'Downing Street Memo' by The Sunday Times.  That short but potent document presented potentially damning evidence surrounding the planning in the run-up to the Iraq War, and while British papers seized the story, the leaked memo made only slight ripples in the American print media.  It did create, however, a surge within the rapidly developing blog community who used the lack of traditional media coverage as a call to arms.

Now, as the Internet struggles to define itself in the shadow of the Fourth Estate, the question remains: will these two mediums continue to battle for supremacy or will they find stability in an integrated symbiotic relationship? To help bring clarity to this question, Zogby International was commissioned by the World Editors Forum and Reuters to survey 704 newspaper editors worldwide for the second in a series of annual 'Newsroom Barometer Surveys.'

Perhaps the most important finding to emerge from the 2008 survey is that editors remain optimistic about the futures of their papers.  As in the 2006 Newsroom Barometer, nearly all editors (84%) are optimistic about the future of their paper.  The editors surveyed are as aware of what the future may hold for their industry as they are unified in their recognition of the underlying threats and potential solutions.

The Future

The majority of editors (56%) now believe that most news (print and online) will be free in the future--up from 48% in 2006.  Nearly two-in-three editors (63%) believe that within a decade the most common form of  news consumption will be some form of electronic media--whether online (44%), mobile (12%) or through newer electronic media like e-papers and tablets (7%).  Less than a third (31%) believe print will remain the most common form of consumption.

The perception of editors with respect to the future is not limited to the news product itself.  The overwhelming majority (83%) agree that within 5 years their nation's journalist workforce will be expected to know how to produce content for all platforms (e.g., print, video, audio and web).  Still, perception of the future is but one dimension of the story -- the remainder is defined by the threats to the industry and  how editors address those threats.

The Threats

By-and-large editors agree on the nature of the threats posed to their industry.  The decline in youth readership (58%), the rise in Internet and digital media (38%) and the lack of editorial innovation (36%) all speak to the consensus that change is imminent.  These editors tell us their chief sources of pressure are from advertisers (22%), shareholders (20%) and political forces (19%).  All pressure, no doubt,  to confront the changing reality through innovation and integration.

On one issue editors paint a mixed picture--the current state of their newsroom.  For some (39%) circulation in the past year is up; for others (29%) it is down.  One-third of editors (33%) have added journalists, a quarter have lost journalists (24%) and for the rest (42%) the number of journalists on their staff remains unchanged from a year ago.

The Solutions

When a majority of editors (54%) report that they have an integrated newsroom, they may make such statements not necessarily based on the reality, but also out of necessity.  Regardless of whether integration has or has not occurred, nearly all (86%) agree that it will be the norm in the near future.  Editors also agree on the steps needed to address other threats.  Asked what investments they would make in their newsroom given the opportunity, the top two investments cited--training journalists in new media (36%) and recruitment of new journalists (31%)--demonstrate that editors are looking to make a commitment to the future.  And with the recognition that editorial innovation is needed, 69% of editors agree that opinion and analysis pages will play an increasingly larger role in the future.

Yes, editors are optimistic about the future of their papers, but they are also aware of the potential danger on the horizon.  Less than half (45%) believe the quality of journalism will improve over the next year.  More than a quarter (28%) believe the quality will worsen; a finding reflected in the high level of importance editors place on the need for investment in training and recruitment.

For these editors the future is self-evident and our survey shows that they see the writing on the newsroom wall.  The evolution of the 4th Estate is no longer questions of if, when or how.  Editors now know the solution:  Innovate.  Integrate.  Or perish.

Newsroom Barometer: threats to newspapers, areas of investment, more results

There has been a lot of coverage of the results of the Newsroom Barometer, but here are a few more results that may have gone under the radar.

If provided resources to invest in editorial quality, what would you do first within the newsroom?

NB - first investment r.pngAcross all categories, the responses illustrated two clear concerns for editors, which superceded all others: their staff needs to be attuned to new media (36% of the respondents would first train their staff in new media), and they need more journalists to produce quality coverage (30%, up from 22% last year). As more newsrooms face layoffs and tight budgets, editors are increasingly seeking to safeguard one of the main conditions to quality journalism: a team of qualified journalists.

For editors from newspapers whose number of journalists had decreased, their main priority was to recruit more journalists, at 50%, while also recognizing the necessity of new media training, at 31%. Even among newspapers whose staff had increased, 26% of editors wished to recruit more journalists (36% new media training).

This clearly shows that, in the view of editors, cutting staff and journalistic resources is not a solution - to the contrary - to resolve financial concerns a newspaper may have.

Overall, what do you view as the two greatest threats to the future of your newspaper?

NB - biggest threat.png57% of respondents saw the biggest threat to the future of newspapers coming from declining readership among young people. One of the greatest challenges faced by newspapers today is structural, linked to a change in habits among readers, as they become consumers of alternative forms of media.

Tied to this, a good share of respondents (37%) saw the Internet and digital media as a threat. This was closely followed by lack of editorial innovation (36%) and lack of investment (29%), which are also inter-related.

The results showed a split between perception of threats as being external, due to contextual evolutions of the market (young readership decline, digital media) and internal, due to lack of newspaper innovation - or the financial means to innovate.

Now looking specifically to your newspaper's editorial independence in the future, what do you view as the principal threat?

NB - threat independence.pngPerceived threats to editorial independence ranged relatively closely from 13% who listed 'other' concerns, to 23% who thought the biggest pressure would come from advertisers, through 19% who listed political pressure and 20% shareholder pressure (20%). Still, a combined 42% perceived the main threat as being related to newspapers' financial dependence, whether on shareholders and advertisers.

Where newspapers were heavily capitalized in the stock market, such as in Western Europe and North America, shareholder pressure was strong, 35% and 23% respectively, but political pressure didn't pose any threat - 3% for both.

Inversely, in many other regions, financial pressures were less important, but lack of press freedom led many editors to fear political pressure.

Do you think that in the future opinion and analysis pages will:

NB - future analysis.pngThe results were stable compared to 2006. Two thirds (67%) of the respondents believed opinion and analysis pages would increase: many foresaw the upcoming evolution of newspaper content, which will be less about factual news and more about analysis and commentary.

An astonishingly small number of respondents from North America (50%) believed analysis and opinion would increase, compared to 76% for Western Europe (and 78% Eastern). This large difference underlines a divergence in editors' perception of the function their newspapers will have in the future, whether these increasingly focus on constant breaking news or instead turn to more analytical, magazine-type content. These results also reflect worries by American editors about having the proper resources to increase their opinion and analytical content.

But let's not forget that the bright revelation of Barometer, as was the case last year, was that 84% of newspaper editors are optimistic about their newspaper's future, despite frequent doom and gloom reports...


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