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The death of journalism and rise of churnalism

February 23, 2011

An interesting video on the rise of churnalism and PR’s effect on the news.

While it is satisfying for the PRO to have their carefully crafted press release about how one in three women wouldn’t dare leave the house without make-up printed almost word-for-word in the papers or online, it does raise a worrying question: what about real news?

Churnalism is not referring to investigative journalists or those committed to their craft. However reporters increasingly face an uphill struggle as budgets and resources are cut.

Declining circulation, shift to online media, editorial pressures and tight deadlines are further reasons for restricting newspapers’ and broadcasters’ reporting. If the journalist is handed a packaged story that make their life easier then why not?

A colleague of mine once mentioned, “journalists definitely seems to be more open to suggestions from PRs compared to three or four years ago…” denoting a shift in the relationships between PR and reporters.

As Dan Sabbagh points out, press releases are not to blame, nor are journalists. At the end of the day, we should be vigilant when assessing the relevance and validity of news stories.

And the penazzle? Let’s just say it made its way into a few conversations…

Click to view video

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