Journalism cutbacks give PR an (unfortunate) edge

A further round of editorial job cutbacks at John Fairfax will do nothing for journalism and create further opportunities for public relations.

Fairfax announced yesterday it was axing 120 editorial jobs in Australia.

Coincidentally it followed the appearance on Tuesday night on the 7.30 Report of British investigative journalist and author Nick Davies, who argued that journalistic standards are declining the world over as cost-cutting and government pressures take toll on the industry.

Davis also mentioned about the growing influence of PR. This is all to evident.

As newsrooms become leaner, staff are under more pressure to produce material: more often than not, without checking facts too closely. I have had media releases run verbatim (and with a reporter’s byline). You get one happy client, but as a journalist, I still worry about where all this is leading.

Davies’ interview can be read at this page: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2008/s2348362.htm

More PR at the PR Lab, http://www.prlab.com.au

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