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Mideast journalists using more press releases, says survey

Journalists in the region are using press releases more often than they did in 2007, although many...

July 5, 2009 12:18 by

Journalists in the region are using press releases more often than they did in 2007, although many reporters still feel they receive a disproportionate number of irrelevant emails from public relations executives, according to the MediaSource/Insight Middle East Journalist Survey 2009.

In 2007, when MediaSource/Insight Middle East conducted its first survey, 58 percent of pollsters said they use none of less than 10 percent of the press releases emailed to them, compared with 45 percent in 2009.

“The ‘most irritating practice’ for both the Arabic and English media remains the sending of irrelevant press releases, just as it was in our 2007 survey,” said Ben Smalley, managing director of MediaSource.

“The survey reveals a pressing need for PR practitioners to become more targeted and develop a greater understanding of the subjects covered by the media outlets they are dealing with, rather than adopting a scattergun approach to distribution,” he adds.

The survey also found that while 63 percent of English-language journalists working in the Middle East say that the quality of journalism in the region is improving, only 22 percent believe the level of reporting is either ‘very good’ or ‘fairly good’ , compared with 47 percent of Arabic journalists.

MediaSource/Insight Middle East surveyed 219 journalists working for Arabic and English-language print, broadcast and online media in 13 countries across the Middle East.

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  1. M Jacob on July 6, 2009 6:48 am

    Must also be the result of better-written press releases. It used to be terribly juvenile. Press releases that are given bylines such as ‘staff reporter’ and published un-edited in the main dailies is catching on. There are still many ‘PR writers’ who don’t understand even the basic concepts of editorial writing. It’s sickening.

  2. Rebecca on July 6, 2009 8:40 am

    I think more press releases are being used now as the number of publications has also increased since the last survey. also yes maybe the quality of press releases has improved as more journalists enter the pr world.

  3. M Jacob on July 6, 2009 10:57 am

    Rebecca, many experienced copywriters too, can craft good press releases. The problem is, they sometimes feel it is beneath them. It’s another advertising activity that you need to be passionate about, to do well.


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