Eight in ten now see Covid-19 as major threat to news industry as job cuts accelerate

More than three-quarters of Press Gazette readers now see coronavirus as an extremely serious or major threat to the news industry.

Compare this with March when a small majority of our readers said they did not think the outbreak would pose a serious threat to the industry.

Over the past week, 1,064 people have responded to the question: “How serious a threat does the coronavirus outbreak pose to the news industry?”

How have your newspaper consumption habits changed during the pandemic/lockdown, and do you think this will last?

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Some 45% (474 people) said it poses an extremely serious threat, while 34% (361 people) said it’s a major threat – making a combined total of 79% who are concerned about the lasting impact on journalism.

Some 11% (119) said it was no threat at all, while 10% said it was a minor threat.

This shows how rapidly the situation has changed in the past four months. We first asked the question in a poll which ran between 10-16 March on Press Gazette – a week before lockdown began in the UK.

At that time, when newsrooms were starting to ask staff to work at home, 36% of 450 respondents said Covid-19 posed only a minor threat and 15% said it was no threat at all – making a combined total of 51%.

Since then, a number of publishers have furloughed a proportion of their staff and are now, or are at risk, of making permanent job cuts.

They include:

Methodology: This poll was an indicative survey of Press Gazette readers which ran on the site from 6 July to 13 July 2020. It used cookie-based tracking to stop readers from voting twice. Press Gazette’s readers are predominantly journalists and others who work in the news industry.

Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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