The survey found that 93 percent of local television news outlets provided some
training to journalists, making them the media most likely to provide
Weekly newspapers were the least likely to provide training--with 69
percent doing so.
The survey was given online and by telephone to 1,284 staffers and 741
executives in news media between September and November. It was a follow-up
to a similar survey conducted in 2002 - both by Princeton
Survey Research Associates International.
margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent for the executives’ survey, and
plus or minus 3 percent for the staffer’s survey. The findings appear in a
book co-authored by Michele McLellan and Tim Porter,
titled “News, Improved: How America’s Newsrooms Are Learning to Change.”
“What we have seen in newsrooms is … the right training, strategic
training, elevates not only individual skills, but group and organizational
skills, which is key to culture change,” said McLellan in a news conference
to explain the new findings.
“It fosters more collaboration, a more adaptive
culture. It improves employee retention, which is a financial as well as a
knowledge issue. It accelerates change and eases the difficulty of it.”
McLellan said that newspapers need to train their staff if they wanted
to compete against and adopt new technology.
“It’s train or die, essentially,” she said.
Fifty-four percent of news organizations reported plans to increase training in new
media, the area most likely to see increased training. In contrast, only
about one in five news organizations plans to increase ethics training, the
In other findings:
- Three out of ten journalists said they are most dissatisfied with pay and benefits.
- About half of staff members said top managers would benefit from
additional training in management; one out of five said managers would benefit from training in new media
- Ninety-six percent of news executives who had hired new journalists
recently said that new hires coming into their organizations need more
Change can be hard on newspapers. A survey by the Readership Institute
that looked into the culture of the newspaper industry found in 2004 that
newspaper culture could be characterized as aggressive and defensive, a
culture in which “members are expected to approach tasks in forceful ways to
protect their status and security.” The study’s sample were 6,602 members of
The "News, Improved" book shows examples of newsroom training that yielded results, such
as more new-media content. For instance, after staffers were given
multimedia training, The Bakersfield Californian produced more than 600
online videos through mid-November 2006, compared to just six in November