A survey of the media landscape in 2023 has revealed the motivation and challenges faced by journalists in Australia, sparking an interesting conversation around the role of media in a modern world.

Medianet’s 2023 Australian Media Landscape Survey was undertaken to gather insight into the work experience of journalists and understand the challenges they face in the industry. 

In total, 844 journalists participated in the anonymous survey. 63 percent of these individuals worked in digital journalism, 49 percent worked in print, while others worked in radio, tv and podcasting. 

The study provided a detailed map of the media landscape, trends and changes, as well as the social and political climate of media content.  


Journalists worked across mediums including digital, print, tv, radio and podcasts



When asked about their motivations for pursuing stories and issues, 80 percent of journalists cited ‘informing the public’ as their major driving factor. Other reasons included raising awareness for issues and entertaining the audience. 

Overall, respondents were focused on providing real and honest information to the public. In fact, 95 percent of respondents said they had never lied to a source in order to procure information. This is due to a need to build trust and relationships within the field, as well as creating a positive reputation.

Most respondents believed maintaining a strong ethical code was vital to their journalistic processes. As stated by one anonymous respondent “trust and honesty are the bedrock of journalism.”


Providing honest information through their work was important to respondents.


Representation in the workplace

Conversations around diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly relevant to the modern world. As such, Medianet focused on levels of representation and multiculturalism in its survey to understand the experience of minority groups.

Overall, the survey found that male journalists were more likely to have decision making roles such as chief-of-staff or editor. Men also reported higher representation in publisher, presenter and announcer positions.

Similarly, there appeared to be a large gender pay difference, with women and non-binary workers more likely to have low salary ranges and high job insecurity. However, most respondents revealed that they worked at least an hour or two of unpaid overtime each week, regardless of gender.

A large majority of those interviewed believed that a more diverse hiring system was important. Encouragingly, when asked about their workplace, 41 percent of journalists reported that their office had instituted policies to help improve diversity and representation.  

“I think there are genuine efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in our newsroom – committees, regular monitoring, efforts to address imbalance – but the changes will take time to undo decades of systemic imbalance,” said one respondent. 


A major insecurity for journalists was the role of AI and social media.


Threats to journalism 

Turning to challenges and threats to the journalistic process, the report brought up some interesting questions about the use of technology and the spread of information online.

While 74 percent of journalists stated that they had not used generative AI in their work, 79 percent were concerned about the impact that AI could have on the integrity and quality of journalism in the future. 

The popularity of ChatGPT and other generative AI models expanded in 2023, however many journalists claimed to only use the software for help researching stories and generating headlines.

According to a respondent, “AI deals only with knowledge that already exists online. It cannot investigate, scrutinise and provide fresh information.” 

For most journalists, relying on personal insight remains vital to their work as a way of relating to readers and offering unique insight into human issues, something which AI cannot achieve.

Interestingly, the biggest factor reported as threatening public interest journalism was disinformation and fake news, followed by a lack of trust in the media. Respondents felt that increased use of social media was threatening traditional journalism and enabling the spread of fake news. 

According to a respondent, “the media landscape has become far too sensationalist, tabloid and fear-mongering. News is driven by opinion and political agenda.” 

In other words, journalists felt that social media was encouraging division amongst opinion groups, and impacting trust between individuals and media outlets.

“A lot of people receive their news through social media now where there are no controls and no fact checking,” said one respondent.

To read more about what journalists think of the media landscape, click here.