Print or online which has more prestige?

By Jon Slattery

Two-thirds of reporters still think working in print is more prestigious than web journalism.

A new poll, by the syndication site greatreporter.com, shows 66 per
cent of respondents said they agreed with the statement: “Print
journalism is more prestigious than online.”

A quarter of those polled said they didn’t agree, and a further seven per cent said they were undecided.

Richard
Powell, managing director of greatreporter.com parent company Presswire
Media, said: “I feel the public holds print journalism in higher esteem
than online, so therefore as a writer you get more credibility for
getting published in print.” Greatreporter.com also asked a number of
journalists in both print and online their views on the poll’s findings.

Paul
Hill, foreign manager of The Daily Telegraph, said: “There’s not much
doubt about the two. Print journalism obviously has a long history and
journalists have a deep commitment to that and will stay attached to
their newspaper as long as they can unless circumstances change.

“Online
hacks seem to be a younger, graduate breed who, dare I say, scour the
internet rather than their own experiences as a reporter, for knowledge.

“I
rather think, for example, that doors would open more readily for The
Daily Telegraph in corridors of powerrather than for Get Your News Here
Dot Com.”

But BBC News Online’s editor-inchief, Pete Clifton,
disagreed with the survey’s findings, and claimed “great journalism
should be celebrated on whatever platform”.

“[Good reporting] can
be important, interesting and engaging in print or online, it can also
be rubbish on either. But there are things which make online journalism
particularly exciting,”

he said. “The immediacy, the ability to make it interactive and to get readers involved in dynamic ways, for example.”

Guardian
Unlimited’s editor-in-chief Emily Bell also thinks online journalism is
the way forward.”With audiences, ideas and journalistic formats
developing more quickly online than off, journalists who really think
print is more prestigious are going to find the next decade stressful
and disappointing in equal measure,” she said.

Paul Merrill, editor of the men’s weekly magazine Zoo, says he thinks online journalism is being unfairly judged.

“The
situation is changing, and more writers will eventually see the merits
of working on websites rather than in magazines or newspapers,” he said

● The survey’s respondents were drawn from greatreporter.com’s 2,000
registered members, who use the site to syndicate and sell their
journalism worldwide.

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