Journalists in Singapore set for ‘Great Rotation’ amid industry optimism

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 7 March 2022

Podcasts, social media and online publications to become more important in next few years

The Great Resignation may have brought on an employee exodus around the world, but newsrooms in Singapore may be looking at a ‘Great Rotation’ instead. Almost half (48%) of media professionals here plan to stick to their current role, with another 30% looking to move within the same company or industry, according to results of a Telum Media survey released today.

The Telum Asia Pacific Journalism Survey 2022 polled 1,133 journalists across the Asia Pacific region: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It was conducted from November 2021 to January 2022.

While journalists in Singapore remain concerned about COVID-19 and the global economy, findings indicate a generally buoyant mood. More than half (51%) of them are either optimistic or cautiously optimistic about the media industry in the year ahead.

Meanwhile, 71% believe that the pandemic has reinforced or raised the importance of journalism, with just 15% thinking journalism is less valued now. When it comes to job endorsement, 44% would recommend a career in journalism to others, while 31% remained neutral.

“COVID-19 has made the business of journalism more challenging. Despite the pandemic the message from journalists in the Asia Pacific region is that of having a clear sense of mission, cautious optimism and of a profession that is evolving with technology,” said Tim Williamson, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Telum Media.

The survey results also point to the rising prominence of digital platforms, with 81% convinced that social media will grow in importance over the next year, followed closely by online publications (77%).

While many in the industry pivoted to video storytelling a decade ago, 41% of the media workforce now predict that podcasts will be a key growth area, paving the way for an audio renaissance. Eight in 10 journalists feel that the rise of social media and digital channels has reinforced and elevated the need for quality journalism.

News judgement and verification may be rated as a top skill by more than half (67%) of the workforce, but digital expertise is expected to catch up in the next three to five years. These include skills such as search engine optimisation or SEO (57%) and data analytics (40%).

Despite this, many are still apprehensive about the impact of digitalisation. Almost a third of journalists (31%) named digital disruption as one of the biggest challenges they expect to face in 2022, ranking it as a greater concern than job security (27%) and climate change (19%).

Personal touch remains a key factor when engaging with the media. Journalists here find stories that are pitched as exclusives (38%) or directly to them (39%) the most useful, with 87% more likely to run an exclusive pitch. The best time to pitch a story is between 8am and 11am (41%), followed by between 2pm and 4pm (22%).

Download the full Telum Asia Pacific Journalism Survey 2022 report via this link.