News Executives Think Internet is Changing Fundamental Values of Journalism

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in association with the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), six out of 10 news executives think the Internet is changing the fundamental values of journalism. And their biggest concern is loosening standards of accuracy and verification, much of it tied to the immediacy of the Web.

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Nevertheless, many news executives also sense change for the better in their newsrooms, despite cutbacks and declining revenue. Editors at newspaper-related companies praise the cultural shifts in their organizations, the younger tech-savvy staff, and a growing sense of experimentation. Many broadcast executives see so-called one-person crews — in which the same individual reports, produces and shoots video — as improving their journalism by getting more people on the street.

But the leaders of America’s newsrooms are nonetheless worried about the future. Fewer than half of all those surveyed are confident their operations will survive another 10 years without significant new sources of revenue. Nearly a third believe their operations are at risk in just five years or less. And many blame the problems not on the inevitable effect of technology but on their industry’s missed opportunities.

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