Media Face Challenges in Sourcing a Diverse Range of Experts

NEW YORK, NY, Dec 18, 2019

New “Expert Sources” Survey Released in Conjunction with ExpertFile and The Associated Press

A recent survey of media professionals reveals important insights into how newsrooms discover and connect with experts. The research suggests that sourcing experts remains a time-consuming process. In addition, journalists admit there remains a significant gap in representing a more diverse set of experts in their coverage.

Conducted by ExpertFile in conjunction with The Associated Press, the “Expert Sources Survey” reflects the opinions of over 750 media professionals (journalists, editors, producers and more) responsible for securing expert sources for interviews or comment.

The research reveals that the process of discovering and securing expert sources in newsrooms to help develop stories needs to evolve further to help meet the demands placed on journalists today.

“Expert sources are critical to the reporting process. The need for credible experts that reflect diversity has never been more important for newsrooms,” said Dwayne Desaulniers, AP’s director of corporate news and data services.

“This research clearly reveals the challenges journalists face in newsrooms. While we have seen many new technology advances in newsrooms, the process of discovering, vetting and connecting with a diverse set of media sources remains a tedious process,” said Peter Evans, CEO of ExpertFile. “Having access to a large, searchable network of credible experts who will respond to tight deadlines is becoming increasingly critical for journalists.”

Research Highlights

  • Sourcing Experts is a Time-Consuming Process for Newsrooms:
    On average it takes a journalist 2 hours to secure an expert for an interview.
  • Searching for Experts Often Starts with Google But Remains a Cumbersome Process:
    Google is still a primary starting point for finding experts, with 55% of journalists and other media professionals in newsrooms stating they use Google as a primary starting point.
  • Despite a Need for Diverse Voices, Many Journalists Rely on the Usual Suspects:
    While there is increasing pressure to represent a diverse set of voices in their coverage, most journalists(67%)are forced to rely heavily on their own personal contacts.
  • Video Is a Major Determining Factor in Who Gets Media Coverage:
    For three-quarters (76%) of broadcast and cable media professionals, access to video assets is an important factor in choosing an expert source. It appears that being able to articulate one’s expertise is as important as the expert’s credentials.
  • Expert Databases are Seen as Valuable by Journalists, However they are Not Widely Available in Newsrooms:
    The study revealed that the majority of news organizations lack a useful internal database to find experts.

Download the full report here

Note: Data and analysis extracted from this press release must be accompanied by a statement identifying ExpertFile Inc. as the source and publisher.

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