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?”
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.
- Reach – 550 jobs to go at the UK’s largest newspaper publisher (around 12% of its workforce)
- Newsquest – at least 38 journalism jobs at risk, plus more in advertising
- News UK – no numbers yet, but warning of job cuts to come as transition to “digital future” accelerates
- BBC regions – 450 jobs to go in TV, radio and online at BBC England plus a further 150 across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Dennis Publishing – more than 60 jobs at risk, or about 15% of the workforce
- The Stage – redundancy consultations began on 3 July
- The Telegraph – branded content arm ditched ahead of schedule, with fewer than 100 non-editorial roles at risk
- The Economist – 7% of global workforce cut (some 90 job roles) but editorial unaffected
- New York Times – 68 roles terminated, primarily in advertising
- Quartz – 80 jobs cut and London office closed
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