With news media resources becoming increasingly strained, reliance on outside messaging from PR specialists is becoming more commonplace. A recent feature story in Editor and Publisher suggests that the line between PR and journalism is becoming increasingly blurred. Is PR invading and dominating journalism?

The article cites a report from Pew Research Center that reports that the public relations industry is outpacing journalism in both growth of people hired and salaries received, with PR specialists outnumbering journalists almost five to one.

The ability of companies to use social media and digital technology to gain entry into the public’s awareness is turning them into quasi-media companies themselves. Creating and distributing published content makes these companies appear to be a reliable source of information for their audience, ostensibly reducing the need for the third party credibility of journalism.

A new moniker has been coined for this trend – “brand journalism.” Marketers believing that journalism is simply gaining and keeping a reader’s interest are losing sight of the bigger picture. While they massage the facts and data to better represent their own point of view and build their image, the true meaning of journalism – providing credible and objective reporting – gets lost.

As the article suggests, media groups must beware this new growing trend in marketing. While there will always be reliance on PR professionals to learn about new discoveries, trends and events, media members must resist the convenience of letting the PR industry shape their news reporting.