The mindset of EU Journalists

Here are the results of an intereting survey (pdf) on “Media relations and  Europe – from the journalist’s perspective”.  It was carried out by APCO, a public affairs consultancy in partnership with Journalists at Your Service (J@YS).  Although the sample was relatively small (121 respondents = 10% of Brussels press corps) there are quite some interesting facts to be found (Please note that this is just a personal selection, I recommend you to have a look at the survey results!):

  • Half of the reporters covering European affairs have been doing it for less than 5 years.
  • Only 10% read EU blogs
  • Many journalists say their audiences are interested in the EU but not well informed about it, and that journalists’ bosses are hardly any better informed than their readers, viewers and listeners.
  • 43% of the polled journalists would like to learn more about “The balance of  power between EU institutions”, only 13% want to learn more about the Single Market, the budget and trade issues.
  • A relative minority of journalists cover issues related to business regulation, fisheries, development and humanitarian aid.
  • Almost half of the journalists produce one or more stories a day.
  • What are the most important sources for story ideas? Blogs are seen by  3% as “very important”, by 4% as “often important”, 30% say Blogs are “sometimes important” and the majority of 63% say they are “not important”.
  • European Institutions get quite good grades for the quality of the information they provide.
  • Webcasts and podcasts as well as conference calls are relatively unimportant for EU journalists.
  • The best communicator of European affairs is… the European Commission, but at the same time a solid majority of journalists surveyed feel it does a poor job of communicating with the public.

Click here for more results of the survey (pdf).

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4 responses to “The mindset of EU Journalists

  1. Pingback: Jon Worth » Remind me, why do I blog about the EU?

  2. Very interesting!

    Really a pitty that APCO didn’t succeed in getting more journalists to answer the survey. Maybe they should have called the journalists in addition to emailing them (knowing that all journalists get burried in emails everyday).

    The most interesting result in my opinion is the short period of EU reporting compared to a much longer journalist career, very likely in national politics.

    A must-read for Wallström.

  3. looking at which newspapers the journalists that participated are writing for I’d rather not see the responses they would have got from journalists who write for less high profile newspapers.

  4. @ Brusselsblogger

    I agree, let’s hope the survey will be carried out regularly in the future with some methodological improvements …

    @ Fabian Guy Neuner

    Of course the next question would be how many journalists from smaller (and often local) newspapers are actually based in Brussels. It is both, a financial and an editorial decision to have a journalist based there.
    A second point would be whether smaller newspapers actually have EU journalists/experts in EU affairs or whether they tend to use material from the big news agencies…