The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit, may have brought on an employee exodus around the world, but newsrooms in Asia Pacific (APAC) look set to buck the trend. Half of journalists in the region plan to stick to their current role this year, with only 8% looking to move into a different industry, according to the results of the Telum Media survey.
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.
In Malaysia, however, a greater proportion of journalists (16%) are planning to switch to a different industry in 2022. Results show that COVID-19 (69%) and local political instability (62%) remain the greatest concerns facing Malaysian media professionals.
Malaysian journalists are also the most likely in the region to be concerned about job security, with a third (34%) rating it one of their biggest challenges in 2022. It is therefore unsurprising that more Malaysian journalists are planning to go freelance: 7% compared to an average of 4% across APAC.
Findings indicate a generally buoyant mood for Malaysia journalism this year, even as journalists remain wary about challenges like COVID-19 and fake news. Nearly half (46%) are either optimistic or cautiously optimistic about the media industry in 2022.
Meanwhile, 75% believe that the pandemic has reinforced or raised perceptions of the importance of journalism, with just 11% thinking journalism is less valued now. When it comes to job endorsement, half would recommend a career in journalism to others, while 23% 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 in the Malaysia media landscape, with 80% convinced that social media will grow in importance over the next year, followed closely by online publications (70%).
While many in the industry pivoted to video storytelling a decade ago, 30% of the media workforce now predict that podcasts will be a key growth area, paving the way for an audio renaissance.
Almost two in three (66%) journalists feel that the rise of social media and digital channels has reinforced and elevated the need for quality journalism.
Good news judgement may be rated as a top skill by almost half (48%) of the workforce, but it is expected to be overshadowed by digital expertise in the next three to five years. These include search engine optimisation or SEO (30%), social media (30%) and audience engagement (21%).
Personal touch remains a key factor when engaging with the media. Journalists prefer stories that are pitched as exclusives (45%) or directly to them (30%), with 88% more likely to run an exclusive article.
The best time to pitch a story is between 8am and 11am (42%), followed by between 11am and 12pm (31%).
Depending on the territory, some journalists also prefer personalised email pitches.
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