January Program Recap – 2023 State of the Media Journalist Panel

Article by Alyssa Bynum, Digital Coordinator for the FPRA Tallahassee Student Chapter

Date: January 18, 2023
Location: Zoom


Moderator: Alia Faraj-Johnson / President & CEO, Alia Strategic Group

Through their reporting, journalists help to shape public opinion and provide a critical perspective on the activities of organizations and individuals. The media landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years, with the rise of digital technology and the internet leading to a shift in the way news and information is consumed.

In January, FPRA Capital Chapter members heard from a panel of three Florida-based journalists. Each of them shared their own unique perspective on the industry, coming from different forms of media.

Top Takeaways:

What are some tips for pitching stories?

  • Journalists often have preestablished expectations of what news they are going to cover. News is run through preexisting filters to see what aligns with the outlet. Before pitching, ask: What is the expectation for journalism in the outlet you’re pitching? Try adopting local angles to big stories, as real-time news needs to be covered.
  • When it comes to breaking news, adapt your pitch to the news service. For magazine pitches, try to come up with a story that goes into more in-depth than a newspaper story.

How can we get journalists’ attention?

  • Most of the time, journalists are only looking at the first few sentences of the pitch. Make sure your pitches show familiarity with outlet you are pitching. Pitching for certain sections of a magazine will show commitment and loyalty to the magazine.

How has the state of the news media changed?

  • The rise of digital technology has led to the proliferation of fake news and misinformation, which has raised concerns about the reliability and accuracy of the information that is shared online. This has led to the increased importance of fact-checking and media literacy, as well as the need for traditional news outlets to adapt and evolve in order to remain relevant and trusted sources of information.
  • Social media is important, as well as doing more with less. Exciting things are going on, especially because there is increased access to reporting. The new generation is building access to people through social media. More “interconnectedness” is great for reaching people on a broad scale.
  • Know what you’re reading, especially when it comes to news websites. Some of the newer websites are funded by people in politics and influencers. Look at credibility: who’s funding, who’s authorizing, etc.

Overall, the changing media landscape presents both opportunities and challenges for the industry. It offers more ways to reach audiences and to diversify the voices heard, but also poses challenges to the traditional ways of doing journalism, and raises concerns about the reliability and accuracy of information.