More than half of news outlets accept sponsored content, survey says

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Sponsored content appears to be gaining favor in the ever-changing news media, at least according to one recent survey.

According to a new survey conducted by strategic video communications firm D S Simon Productions, more than half of media outlets accept sponsored content as of late 2013. About 52 percent of the 300 or so journalists surveyed said their outlets run brand journalism pieces.

Of course, there are caveats. Bloggers and website producers, at 73 percent and 55 percent acceptance, respectively, seem far more willing to take a sponsored piece.

Survey respondents who work at newspapers (39 percent), radio stations (45 percent), and TV stations (48 percent) were not quite as enthralled with accepting sponsored stories.

It also seems the format matters.

Journalists from traditional and online media seemed much more comfortable publishing outside videos, however. (One should note that D S Simon is a video company.) A full 81 percent of respondents in the company’s survey said they use video from outside sources, and there’s far less variation among media types. The positive responses range from 73 percent of newspaper reporters to 90 percent of bloggers.

That could mean content that marketers and communicators would otherwise package into a brand journalism article might get more attention repackaged into a video, though that requires a bit of inference, given that the survey doesn’t specify what exactly constitutes an “outside video.” An outside video could conceivably be anything posted to YouTube.

One other finding in D S Simon’s survey seemingly contradicts some of the findings in Vocus’ State of the Media report released this month. Vocus’ report stated that reporters definitely use social media, but often as a promotional tool rather than a way to seek pitches.

D S Simon’s survey also found that social media use among journalists is nearly universal, but its report claims 61 percent of reporters accept pitches via social media, mostly via Facebook and Twitter.

That lines up pretty closely with Vocus’ findings: In its survey, about 45 percent of reporters said they’d rather not be pitched via social media.

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