Biz journalists want to write exclusive stories, not just disseminate: Study
Business journalists prefer to write articles with exclusive content that comes from sources inside companies rather than simply disseminating information that companies provide to everyone, according to research released this week.
Four business school professors — Andrew C. Call, Scott A. Emett and Eldar Maksymov of Arizona State University and Nathan Y. Sharp of Texas A&M University — surveyed 462 business journalists to gain insights into their reporting and discovered three themes.
Those themes are:
- Financial journalists have stronger incentives to produce original information and analysis than to disseminate information already in the public domain, and they rely heavily on private communication with company executives for information;
- Sell-side analysts play an important role in informing financial journalists, particularly those who lack financial sophistication; and
- Business journalists feel “substantial” pressure to maintain cordial relationships with companies and are often cut off when they write negative stories.
More than 60 percent of the respondents to the survey have worked at least 10 years in financial journalism, and more than 70 percent work at The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg News, Associated press, Forbes, The New York Times, Reuters and The Washington Post.
Almost 80 percent of the business journalists said that writing articles with exclusive content was very important to their job performance, and more than 60 percent said that they are very likely to have private phone calls with company management when reporting an article.
The results also found that business journalists place more emphasis on accurate, timely and in-depth reporting than the number of people who read their articles.
Almost 22 percent said that they are very likely to lose access to company management after writing an unfavorable article about the company, and more than half said they are contacted by media relations management after publishing an unfavorable article.
To read the entire study, go here.