Study Reports Decline in Journalism Standards

Jul 20, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Almost 80 percent of journalists responding to a recent survey say journalism standards have declined as the media industry has consolidated in recent years, with too much attention being paid to the bottom line, according to results of a study released Tuesday.

In the study, sponsored by a coalition of media unions in Washington, 69 percent of the 400 journalist respondents said corporate owners were exerting too much influence over news coverage, while 73 percent felt understaffing was threatening the quality of news reporting. In addition, 62 percent said entertainment coverage was growing at the expense of hard news.

“Media ownership consolidation is doing irreparable harm to local and national news coverage,” said John Connolly, president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, one of the unions sponsoring the study, in a statement.

The sponsoring unions — which also included the Newspaper Guild, the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians and the Writers Guild of America, East — said they are urging the Federal Communications Commission to hold public hearings on its current media ownership rules before considering additional media ownership deregulation.

Lauer Research of Washington conducted the survey by telephone Feb. 21-29. It has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.