Modern myths about journalists

Muck Rack’s brand-new State of Journalism report debunked three myths about today’s journalists for me. These conclusions are my own, not the authors’ of the report.

If you feel torqued by any of these, be sure to read the third one before coming at me :).

And download the report to draw your own conclusions.

Myth #1: Journalists have fled Twitter/X

On the contrary, this survey of 2,000+ journalists found that X is still the “dominant social platform for journalists,” with 36% of respondents ranking it their most valuable social tool.

Only 19% answered “yes” when asked “did you delete, suspend, or stop using your professional X/Twitter account” last year. Sure, that’s a sizeable chunk, but far from the sweeping generalizations I hear many PR pros make that “journalists aren’t on Twitter anymore.”

Myth #2: Journalists are overwhelmed with pitches

The survey found half of all journalists receive 25 pitches per week or less.

That’s vastly different than the stereotype of a journalist so swamped with pitches they can’t keep up. In fact, another question revealed that 50% of journalists respond to pitches at least “half the time” (with half of THOSE responding at least “usually”!).

Myth #3: Averages of survey responses from a large collection of journalists should dictate how you pitch the single journalist who is next on your media list

If your target journalist is one of the 19% who actually DID stop using X, then it would be unwise to send her a generic blast pitch that assumes all recipients are using it.

If your target journalist is one of the 12% who report getting 21+ pitches per day (like most top-tier staffers), then you will in fact write your pitch differently – shorter! – than if you’re pitching a freelancer you already know doesn’t get pit

ched that often.


Use valuable resources like the State of Journalism report to get a feel for journalists’ collective opinions and to get tipped off to emerging trends. There’s some really interesting stuff in there about journalists’ work arrangements and attitudes toward AI.

But be sure that the primary research you rely on for your next pitch is your next target’s recent work and social content, and then tailor your pitch accordingly. Regardless of what surveys say.

This article was originally published on March 14, 2024

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