According to a PRWeek poll, the value placed on an exclusive is fading away fast. Of the 855 surveyed, the journalists working in online media placed very little value on getting the story first, while those working in traditional media found it to still be important. Poynter has the breakdown:
42% of traditional media (newspapers, radio, TV, wires, magazines) find it “extremely important” to be the first to report on a topic via an exclusive or a scoop vs. 25% of online media (bloggers, online news sites)
There were other findings from the survey as well — a majority of media reported that social media has increased their audience and while 58 percent of traditional journalists digest their media online, their online counterparts digest 95 percent of it via the Internet — but let’s stick to the death of the exclusive.
This as a good thing because the general public doesn’t care who got the story first. That might shock some in media, but they just don’t. Then there’s the fact that some journalists treat an exclusive as an ego boost, which leads to “exclusives” that have already been reported and assigning that word to stories on which type of curling iron the Obama girls prefer.
Obviously it’s good for papers and such to get stories first because it lends credibility to the brand, but now with so many people getting breaking news on Facebook or Twitter, it’s much more vital to be correct and smart about a story than the first to report it.