The Reuters Institute for the study of journalism released its annual journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions for 2023. The report authored by Nic Newman and his team surveyed 303 news leaders from 53 countries and territories with the respondents including 68 editors-in-chief, 49 CEOs or managing directors, and 44 heads of digital or innovation from some of the world’s leading traditional media companies as well as digital-born organisations.

To make it easy for you, we have rounded up some of the highlights of the report.

  • Inflation, uncertainty, and squeeze on spending clouds prospects for journalism: Households are continuing to pull back on spending due to rising costs which has resulted in news publishers facing rising costs. According to the report, towards the end of 2022, rising costs led to newsrooms and publishers implementing cost-cutting measures. Digital online publications such as BuzzFeed have lost 180 employees and falling traffic from social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has compounded the problem for companies that have become dependent on social distribution for news.
  • Digital subscriptions and bundling offer some hope: However, despite the rising costs, news publications are hoping that the continued growth in digital subscriptions, memberships, and donations will help counter the loss in advertising revenue. The New York Times’s subscription revenue has risen by more than 10% as it heads towards a goal of 15 million subscribers by 2027.
  • Peak internet and the challenge of news avoidance: According to data from research agency GWI, people are spending less time on the internet, and news publications have reported a decline in engagement as people continue to select the type of news they want to consume. News avoidance is a phenomenon whereby people are avoiding news they think is negative and depressing, as a result, it has led to a decrease in engagement.
  • A step change in news media’s coverage of the climate emergency: In the past, news publications have been criticised for how they have reported on climate change, however, newsrooms are changing how they report.
  • Tech platforms suffer from overreach, hubris, and new competition: Twitter has laid off three-quarters of its workforce and alienated its biggest advertisers. Meta’s stock fell by about two-thirds (66%), with some staff complaining that Mark Zuckerberg’s obsession with the metaverse was in danger of killing the company.
  • Format innovation: the shift to audio and video continues: According to the Reuters report, the majority of publishers say that they will be focusing on podcasts and other digital audio (72%), email newsletters (69%), and digital video (67%) this year.
  • Product direction is clear but frustration remains over pace of change: The Reuters Institute correctly predicted that more publishers will be focusing on product development, and according to the report, there will be a continuation of an audience-focused approach to product development this year.
  • A breakthrough year for artificial intelligence and its application for journalism: ChatGPT, from OpenAI enables computers to create not just words but also pictures, videos, and even virtual worlds from just a few text prompts. According to the report, these new technologies will allow journalists and journalism to reinvent itself by becoming more efficient.

Click here to read the full report.



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