Despite Pandemic, Journalists Just as Likely to Accept Pitches, Muck Rack Survey Finds

March 15, 2021 11:35 AM EDT

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Muck Rack's annual State of Journalism surveyed 2,400 journalists

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Muck Rack, the leading Public Relations Management (PRM) platform, today published the State of Journalism 2021, a study of over 2,400 journalists about topics ranging from reporting during COVID-19 to preferences for working with PR professionals.

The study shows that journalists are busier than ever. Nearly all (94%) journalists responding to the survey say their reporting has pivoted to angles related to COVID-19, with 43% saying “most” or “all” of their work has pivoted. Although 19% of journalists say they have less work in general, 23% say they have a larger workload due to the layoffs and furloughs of others where they work.

Despite the challenges of 2020, the majority (78%) of journalists are still open to pitches, with 56% of journalists saying they are just as likely to respond to pitches as they were a year ago, and 22% saying they’re more likely to. Only 22% of journalists say they’re less likely to respond to pitches now.

Also notable in the face of an especially challenging year, journalists have remained consistent in their optimism about the journalism profession. The study found that 58% of journalists are optimistic about the journalism profession, while 42% are pessimistic. This is consistent with Muck Rack’s research findings over the past three years, with 58% optimistic in 2020, 57% optimistic in 2019 and 55% optimistic in 2018.

“From the pandemic to widespread layoffs to concerns about press freedom, 2020 was a challenging year for journalists and the industry as a whole, but it also reinforced the vital role journalists play in our society, especially in times of crisis,” says Muck Rack co-founder and CEO, Greg Galant. “Our study shows a remarkable level of resilience among journalists, and it also reveals opportunities for PR pros to become more effective supporters of journalists.”

Now in its fifth 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. Other key findings from this year’s study include:

  • 76% of journalists say Twitter is the most valuable social network (down from 85% last year), and 38% say Facebook is (up from 35% last year). LinkedIn is steady at 23%, while Instagram slid slightly to 15% (from 16% last year).
  • Once again, journalists cited Monday as their favorite day to receive pitches (57%), followed by Tuesday (20%). 68% of journalists prefer to receive pitches between 5 a.m. and 12 p.m. EST.
  • As in past years, 1:1 email is most journalists’ preferred pitching channel. Again, phone is the least popular channel, followed by social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • 59% of journalists see their relationship with PR professionals as mutually beneficial but not quite a partnership. 17% view it as a necessary evil and 18% describe it as antagonistic. Only 6% of journalists see their relationship with PR pros as a partnership.

Muck Rack conducted The State of Journalism 2021 in partnership with Online News Association (ONA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Foreign Press Association (FPA), National Association of LQBTQ Journalists (NLGJA), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), and over a dozen other journalism-focused organizations.

You can download the full survey results and register for an upcoming live discussion about the findings here.

About Muck Rack

Muck Rack’s Public Relations Management (PRM) platform enables PR teams to work together to find the right journalists for their stories, send customized pitches, build meaningful relationships with the media, monitor news and quantify their impact. Thousands of organizations, including Taco Bell, Pfizer, Golin, International Committee of the Red Cross, The Carter Center, Kauffman Foundation, and Penguin Random House, use Muck Rack to take their communications to the next level.

Muck Rack is also the solution of choice for journalists, who use Muck Rack’s free, automatically updated portfolios to showcase their work and to provide information about what stories they’re looking for.

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Mike Schneider,, (212) 500-1883

Source: Muck Rack

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