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Publishers ‘to pay less attention to Facebook and Twitter in 2023′ says survey

Nic NewmanNews publishers will pay much less attention to Facebook and Twitter during 2023 and prioritise TikTok, podcasting and newsletters instead, an industry report has predicted.

A survey of 303 media industry leaders around the world, including around 60 from the UK, showed that the number who said they would be prioritising Facebook fell by 320pc and Twitter by 28pc.

By contrast, the number who said they will be putting more effort into TikTok rose by 63pc, Instagram by 50pc and YouTube by 47pc.

Nic Newman of the Insitute for the Study of Journalism shared the results of its annual survey of publishers about the Future of News, some aspects of which have been previously covered by HTFP, at the start of today’s Society of Editors Conference in London.

The survey found that publishers are much less confident about their business prospects than this time last year, with only 44pc of editors, CEOs, and digital leaders saying they are confident about the year ahead, and around19pc expressing low confidence.

But Nic added: “It’s not just journalism that’s struggling with the economic downturn. All of the tech companies are struggling.

“Younger groups are using Facebook much less than they were.  “Whatever you think about TikTok it’s forcing platforms to do things differently.  It’s affecting Facebook strategy and YouTube strategy.”

The survey said that increased interest in TikTok reflected a desire to engage with under 25s, and experiment with vertical video storytelling, despite concerns about monetisation, data security, and the wider implications of Chinese ownership.

Publishers are also putting more resource into Google Search, podcasts and email newsletters, Nic told the conference, while the metaverse has “gone down the priority list for a lot of publishers.”

Although publishers are prioritising Twitter less, 51pc thought the demise of Twitter would be bad for journalism, although some thought it would “strengthen serious journalism.”

The survey also found that media companies are quietly integrating AI into their products with 28pc saying this is now a regular part of their activities.

A panel discussion followed but there were no representatives of either the regional press or national print titles involved.

Young people are no longer interested in media coverage of the royal family, it was claimed at today’s conference.

A panel discussion on the future of royal reporting was told that stories about the royals are of “very little concern” to young people worrying about the cost-of-living crisis and getting on the housing ladder.

Russell Myers, royal editor of the Daily Mirror, said: “Younger people are questioning why we need a royal family, why haven’t they apologised for slavery and so on.”

Author Catherine Mayer, who wrote a biography of King Charles, added: “A substantial number of younger people would like to see a republic.

Sophie Peachey, a journalist and producer with the News Movement, said: “Young people are worried about the cost of living and getting on the property ladder. What this family is doing is of very little concern to them.”

And Roya Nikkhah, royal editor of the Sunday Times, said: “There’s no reason why young people should be interested in the royal family.”

Roya said that the royal family was “very keen to engage Gen Z” and that the Prince of Wales in particular was “very live” to the issue.

She added: “It’s a constant concern for the royal family.  It’s a massive challenge for the King and Queen and an enormous challenge when William becomes King.”

During the discussion, Catherine also claimed that some of the press coverage of Meghan Markle had been “extraordinarily racist and misogynistic.”

She denied that the press was institutionally racist, but argued that that some stories and coverage had been.

Conor Matchett 2022An award-winning regional journalist has hit out at the Scottish Government’s “obsession” with media management, saying it has “about twice” the number of press officers as the number of political journalists covering it.

Conor Matchett, left, political editor of The Scotsman, was part of a discussion panel on how the news media can better hold power to account, with a particular focus on politics and the police.

Said Conor: “There are around 55-60 press officers in the Scottish government which is about twice the number of political journalists.

“The obsession with media management really is a key aspect of the Scottish National Party’s style of government.”

Conor, who won the regional journalist of the year prize at last year’s Media Freedom Awards, also hit out at Police Scotland for ignoring press queries.

“If they can get away with saying nothing they will say nothing. There is no way for journalists in Scotland to have an honest conversation with the press office,” he told the conference.

Earlier Rebecca Camber, crime and security editor of the Daily Mail, said she was constantly asking the police how journalists can work with them better and make it a “more productive relationship.”

She added:  “Unfortunately it’s getting worse.”

Anthony France, crime correspondent of the Evening Standard, added: “A lot of the emphasis has come off the idea of the media helping in investigations.

“Journalists don’t even get surnames of people who are missing – which means journalists are not reporting on it.”