Some Crikey readers who responded to our investigation into public relations and journalism say it is an old story. We suspect that they’re mostly over 35. It’s a bit like saying we did the police corruption story 20 years ago, so there’s no more to be said. In fact, there has not been a lot of similar research done in Australia and there should be more not less in the future. What research has been done supports the ACIJ findings.
In 1992, Jim Macnamara, now the Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology, Sydney completed his study The impact of PR on the media. This report included a survey of 417 journalists and editors in four Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. He found that 86% reported ‘Very Frequent’ contact from PR practitioners. More than 74% reported receiving 20 or more PR communications (news releases, phone calls, faxes, etc) per week.