Weber Shandwick survey of journalists argues 77 per cent open to branded content

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 2.11.35 pmA survey of journalists across the Asia Pacific has found that the traditional separation of ‘church’ and ‘state’, between sales and editorial, is not what it once was and that journalists under increasing pressure from online deadlines are increasingly open to forms of branded content.

Public relations firm Weber Shandwick surveyed 339 journalists from ten Asia Pacific markets, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and found that 77 per cent said that their news organisation published content provided by a brand.

The survey also highlighted the wider impacts of the digital revolution on the practice of both journalism and public relations.

“While the digital shift can be felt in agencies, the PR discipline needs to remember that the craft of editorial is still at the heart of telling stories and engaging audience, but the way we do that has changed forever,” said Jye Smith head of Weber Shandwick’s content division Mediaco Asia Pacific.

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According to the survey, 71 per cent of journalist now publish across digital channels with online the preferred channel for journalists’ own news consumption habits, with 68 per cent saying they most commonly access their news online.

A surprisingly high number of journalists in the survey reported never or occasionally reading a print newspaper with 30 per cent saying they never read the print copy while 52 per cent reported sometimes. Only 18 per cent said they read print on a daily basis.

Over 99 per cent of all the journalists survey said they have an active social media presence with the three most social media platforms being Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook, although there were significant differences to this in markets such as China and Korea.

When asked where they gathered the majority of their news story ideas, 64 per cent identified traditional sources such as personal contacts, media releases, PR agencies, with the remaining 36 per cent naming online sources such as social media and blogs.

The full report can be downloaded here. 


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