Local print journalism is challenge right now for fairly obvious reasons. Print is declining, and while digital audiences are rising for many local outlets, a local audience does not reach the scale of the internet giants or digital news start-ups. We have to develop business models that don’t rely on scale.
Jim Brady is launching a Millennnially-focused, mobile news site in Phlladelphia, and he says that young news consumers want “traditional reporting as a springboard to strengthen communities”. I think that it isn’t just young news consumers and Millennials who want this engaged brand of journalism. At the two newspapers that I edit, audiences of all ages are responding to traditional journalism combined with a focus on providing solutions and strenghtening our communities.
In my 20 years as a journalist, I have seen a lot of digital storytelling techniques come and go, and we have entered a new era of digital storytelling innovation. It’s exciting, but with all of these techniques, it is even more important that editors help choose the right technique for the story.
Journalists know the importance of asking the right questions, and journalists are now having to ask very hard questions about our business as we struggle with digital disruption. The New York Times has recently released a report on how it can transform its print focused culture into a digital focused culture, but George Brock, the head of journalism at London City University, says they need to ask more fundamental questions about journalism in the 21st Century. We must ask those questions if we want to remain relevant.
I decided to go back to newspapers because I am passionate about community journalism and reinventing for the 21st Century is one of the most important and biggest challenges. Before I made this career pivot, I thought that one part of this reinvention would be to create a community platform, and now, I’ve been able to test this in a real world situation. We are off to a great start.
Jay Rosen ties together some of the trends happening right now in digital journalism, such as the launch of deep dive digital news sites. These sites are heading 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the generalist bundles like the newspaper and news channels. When people entirely new to it ask me what’s the best way to get going in… Read more →
This is the paradox of journalism in the digital age: Journalism organisations reach more people than was ever possible in the analogue age, but those larger audiences have not translated into higher revenues. Some of this has been almost constant pressure of digital ad revenues since the beginning of the financial crisis, driven by an oversupply of ad space. Digital… Read more →
Media management prof Charles Warner thinks that media companies lack innovation because they are driven by an individualistic, star-obsessed culture. Good corporate culture are rare and take a lot of work, and while I don’t think it’s going to be the magic cure-all for the woes of media suffering digital disruption, media companies cannot afford the dysfunctional internal dynamics of their past.
Since the arrival of digital media, most of the innovation has been focused on the editorial side of the business, while the advertising side of the business has largely stuck to pre-digital models like display advertising. Now, we’re starting to see real innovation on the ad side at news organisations. Can it turn around the flagging fortunes of news organisations?
What job does a newspapers do in the digital age? This isn’t to say that a newspaper has no role, but it is to say that just as news organisations need to transform digitally, they also need to transform their print products. This dual-transformation has been key to Clark Gilbert’s success in the US, and changes at the Financial Times underscore the importance of rethinking print and while radically transforming to serve digital audiences.