“PR people are good at plenty of things; news reporting is not one of them”, states an article in the Diamondback, the University of Maryland’s student newspaper, which added that this should be “self-evident: PR professionals are tasked with promoting the image of a person, company or institution. That role is fundamentally incompatible with the values — skepticism, curiosity, and transparency — of journalism.

“But the economic incentives favor a PR career over a journalism one. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2013, there are nearly five times as many public relations specialists as news reporters. And there’s also a pay gap between the two professions that has widened — the average journalist makes only 65 cents for every dollar their PR counterpart gets.

“It’s entirely reasonable for journalists to leave the profession in search of greater economic security — and many have done just that. When Ryan Kelly won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of chaos at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, he had already left his newspaper for a more stable job in PR.

“So as PR grows and journalism hollows out, news content becomes more, well, PR-y. With reduced information-collecting capacity, journalists must increasingly rely on PR folks with a vested interest in how information is spun. Robert McChesney and John Nichols, the authors of The Death and Life of American Journalism, have noted, “As editorial staffs shrink, there is less ability for news media to interrogate and counter the claims in press releases.””

More here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.