State of Journalism 2023

A new report on the state of journalism in 2023 was recently released by the media database organization Muck Rack.

Over 2,200 journalists were surveyed from January 4 to February 6 about their preferences on newsgathering, social media, and public relations strategies. We highlighted several of the findings related to pitching to help communications professionals better understand reporter preferences and improve their media relations strategies.

The good news is that journalists are more receptive to pitches in 2023, with 29% stating they are more likely to respond to pitches than they were last year — a 6% increase from the 2022 report.

More than half of reporters surveyed say a quarter of their stories come from pitches. However, with most journalists receiving up to five pitches a day, plenty of outreach still falls through the cracks. Respondents say the top two reasons they ignore pitches are lack of personalization and bad timing.

When it comes to pitching events, it’s important to understand the changing perception of virtual occasions. The survey revealed that journalists are less likely to cover virtual events than they were last year. Meanwhile, two-thirds of journalists plan to attend more in-person events in 2023. The top three events journalists plan to cover this year are the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), World Conference on Climate Change and Sustainability, and the World Economic Forum.

When it comes to pitching experts, academic experts are still the favored choice, with 80% of journalists considering them credible sources. Reporters identified celebrity spokespeople, bloggers, and self-appointed subject matter experts as the least credible sources.

While this information is helpful for crafting the content of your pitch - the survey also specifies some practical takeaways for your media outreach strategy. Journalists overwhelmingly prefer direct email pitches that are 300 words or less. Mondays are the favored day for pitches, and most reporters prefer to receive story ideas before noon.

For more information on journalism trends, social media usage and habits, and beat areas, access the full Muck Rack State of Journalism 2023 report.