Survey results released Oct. 16 from researchers at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, shows that convergence – the sharing of newsgathering resources among newspapers, television stations and Web news - continues to be a mixed bag.
The survey, the first of a three-part study, was intended to take a snapshot of the relationship between newspapers, television stations and the Web. A total of 1452 editors at daily newspapers across the country were contacted. A total of 372 newspapers responded.
The survey found that 30 percent of U.S. daily newspapers work with a local television station when it comes to newsgathering. Only 13 percent of those working with television stations have common ownership.
Other survey findings include:
- 27.1 percent of newspapers share their entire story lineup with media partner more than once per week;
- 42.4 percent share part of their lineup more than once a week;
- 21 percent of newspapers share video and photographs if their partners doesn’t send a journalist to cover a story;
- 3.8 percent share costs once a month for an investigation or special project; 16.2 percent do so at least four times per month and 51.4 percent never do.
- 26.9 percent of newspapers assign a staff member to appear on their partner’s newscast at least once a week to promote stories in the next day’s newspaper;
- 63 percent do not designate a staff member for the on-air promotion;
- 47 percent of newspapers say they never have a beat reporter appear on their partner’s broadcast;
- 29.9 percent do so at least once a month;
- 50 percent never share physical resources with their station partner;
- 18.8 percent share resources, such as a ride on a station news chopper, at least once per month.
The survey found promotion of the partnership lacking. Twenty-three percent of those responding said their newspapers use the logo of their TV partner in the paper once a week. A little more than 70 percent said they never talk about promoting their TV partner’s news.
Part two of the study will investigate convergence from the television news director point of view. According to Ball State University researchers, news directors will be contacted before the end of the year, and results will be tabulated and published by spring 2005.
No specific time has been set for phase three of the study, which will look into convergence from the point of view of Web journalists.
To read the executive summary of the study, visit http://web.bsu.edu/mediasurvey.