Tag Archives: Global Editors Network

#news2011: Lessons from ‘roadmap for news media’

Consultant Jim Chisholm gave a jam-packed presentation to the Global Editors Network news summit in Hong Kong today.

His presentation (which I will link to here once it is available) offered plenty of facts and figures about the state of the industry across all platforms, but focused on how improving the approach to digital content can also help provide a secure future for more traditional forms.

Here are just some of the messages I took away from his presentation and comments:

1. We have abandoned circulation

“There is no evidence that the internet is the cause of the circulation decline”, he said. According to the statistics for online given in his presentation the rate of ad spend per hour was £8.20 online but £23.50 in newspapers. And the time spent by the audience consuming media was still top for newspapers, although overall this is in decline.

Television is increasing its share but not time, the amount of time internet is consumed is leveling off. People are not spending more time [consuming news] despite all the platforms available.

Print circulation was also said to maintain a key share of revenues, but he said that it “has been forgotten”.

The reason it’s going down is because nobody cares. It is a really serious problem.

2. Mobile opportunities will be higher than predicted

Chrisholm told the conference that “forecasts suggest by 2017 mobile will deliver around 24 per cent of all digital advertising”, but “the forecasts are wrong”, he said, adding mobile use will be a lot higher.

Mobile is a second evolution.

As well as wireless capabilities mobile offers multimedia and location features that can exploit the personalisation trend. Also looking at tablets, he said growth in this area is “absolutely enormous” adding that Le Monde told him “reading times on tablets are as high as those reading print newspapers”.

3. Newsstands could be the way forward, not paywalls

Put simply, “paywalls will not work”, he told the audience. But the newsstand formula could be the answer.

It will work online if everyone works together [and offers content] all in one place. That is a solution that could work. In a competitive market people can choose to go from one place to another.

4. We need to be more obsessive about analytics

He told the audience of editors that journalists may not like to hear it but “the time has come … we have to be obsessive about analytics.”

Because of our reluctance to take on board the concept of analytics, that’s what’s holding back our ability to develop digital. We are not exploiting the medium in the way it is meant to be exploited.

… The reality is unless traditional news media adopt scientific approach to customer retention and intensity, they’re dead.

In conclusion on the topic of analytics he told the audience of editors “you can all do this,” and added that “tailored content will dramatically transform the industry”.

#news2011: Bringing animation into news content: ‘provides fuller picture of events’

An interesting part of the visual journalism session at the Global Editors Network summit in Hong Kong today looked at where animation can work with news, by hearing about the work of Next Media.

The company, which is based in Taiwan, produces animation clips based on news events. One of their clips, which depicted a story relating to golfer Tiger Woods has so far received seven million views.

Content and business development manager Mike Logan told the conference the animations aim to offer a “fuller picture of events we believe happened at the time”.

That’s how we use animation at Next Media, animating the missing action. Doing news reporting you have an interview but it’s missing a crucial piece of video and that’s action not happening.

He also discussed News Media’s distribution platform News Direct, which offers –free of charge – “more traditional animation to help supplement video”.

This can simply be downloaded by news outlets and added to their own video work. Next Media’s own animations are also embeddable, such as this one Journalism.co.uk posted on its blog in February to illustrate the sale of the Huffington Post.

Find out more on Next Media here.

#news2011: Editors need to ‘enable journalists to step back and go beyond the wires’

In this morning’s sessions at the Global Editors Network summit an interesting discussion took place which aimed to look at the lessons from two major events in the past year: the Arab spring and Fukishima.

Focusing first on the Arab spring, Al Jazeera English’s head of online Mohamed Nanabhay told the conference that social media “amplified” the voices of those involved and helped citizens “reach out”, and once the media started reporting “people felt braver” to do so.

Once mainstream media came in it reached 90 per cent of society, this provided an effect … people felt braver because the media were covering it, and they felt if the media are covering it hopefully there are checks and balances on power.

Moving to the issues in Japan, fellow speaker Joichi Ito, director of the MIT media lab, accused the mainstream media of “not digging very deep” in its coverage of Fukishima.

Today people are very disillusioned. There is a huge loss of confidence in media and official sources.

He also called for greater integration of programming, data analysis and statistics in the newsroom.

I don’t think most media has the practice of doing data analysis … in Japan need journalists to look at the data and not at the experts.

Nanabhay added news outlets need to “inspire curiosity in journalists”.

It’s very difficult for people to step back and think about the story further than the deadline. Editors need to allow journalists to step back, go beyond the wires and press releases. They need the ability to think critically about the problem, to be a problem solver. The environment might have changed … but if you have curious mind that’s what you really need.

Interestingly, in following his comments on curiosity in journalism, he said that when it comes to traffic Al Jazeera “keep numbers away from journalists”, explaining that the broadcaster does not seek to measure stories based on traffic results, so as not to influence the stories journalists wish to cover and to let their curiosity be decided by the need for stories to be told, rather than those which may appeal to more eyeballs online.

#news2011: Editors urged to focus on ‘conversation’ and ‘try everything’

In the first panel session of the Global Editors Network summit in Hong Kong today, which looked at the impact of personalisation and “pro-sumption”, the overriding theme was for media companies to focus on a two-way conversation in order to meet the needs of their consumers.

Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism in the US, described the ecosystem as “more diverse”, adding that news outlets need to change their attitude “from knowing everything, or pretending to know everything, and imagining their role as more of a guide”.

He cited the Guardian’s open newslist project as an example of community engagement which makes “perfect sense”, but later added that the involvement of the audience in journalism would need to differ based on the specific case or project.

In some cases the audience can vote and make decisions and in other cases they will be part of the process in a different way and in some cases journalists will do the job they are trained to do and then get things from the audience. There are many ways to get the audience into this process. Not all are co-decisions but collaboration in a variety of ways.

He also called on editors to engage in a conversation with those working outside the journalism sphere, urging them to “be very willing to use ideas from people not involved in journalism”.

Fellow panel member Robert Amlung, head of digital strategy at ZDF TV in Germany, also spoke of the importance of community involvement and the development of the conversation in television specifically to a two-way process.

I do trust the audience … We’re not letting the audience decide then dictate. As journalists we have our position, our ethics, all this we bring to the conversation and this will enrich the conversation and I still think journalists have something to contribute. It’s two-way, we will get something back. We get more feedback and when we do it right it will enhance quality.

During his presentation he discussed the array of platforms now being used to access content, but added that while there are these new windows for content to be seen through, “the old world” and its communities must not be forgotten.

New possibilities arise but the old world remains strong. Classical traditional media is still very much used … even newspapers are quite profitable today. It would be nonsense to talk about the demise of other media.

#news2011: Hong Kong chief executive calls on media to ‘take advantage of what we have to offer’

Opening the Global Editors Network summit today, the chief executive for Hong Kong Donald Tsang called on the international media to make the most of its rich technology and business sector, but added he did not envy the job of news organisations as they “find new ways to make their business work”.

In his keynote speech Tsang shared some interesting statistics on Hong Kong’s media, which he said has 50 daily newspapers and at least 100 international media outlets based in the region, in which he said news and information “flows rapidly and freely”.

He also told the conference that Hong Kong has a 201 per cent mobile phone penetration, with many citizens having more than one phone, setting an interesting scene for mobile discussions scheduled to take place later today.

He closed by speaking about the challenges facing the industry, adding that while “information technology was meant to make life easier” it appears that “life gets busier and busier” for both the media and government.

Referring to a law passed earlier this year to establish a communications authority, he said one of its first tasks “will be to review and rationalise our laws on broadcasting and telecommunications” and address “cross media ownership and foreign ownership restrictions”.

I hope that responding to changes and advances … we’ll be able to foster development of the sector.

I hope this will also encourage innovation and investment. As I said earlier the free flow of news and information is of strategic importance to us. We very much welcome more international media to take advantage of what we have to offer in Hong Kong.

… News organisations need to find ways to make their businesses work … We no longer live in 24/7 environment, now it is measured in minutes or seconds and this must create enormous pressures. I don’t envy your jobs.

Key World Editors Forum board members create new Global Editors Network

Prominent board members of the World Editors Forum (WEF) have resigned their posts and re-grouped to form a new international network for editors from all mediums in response to the rapid acceleration of media convergence.

The Global Editors Network (GEN) will be headed by former WEF president Xavier Vidal-Folch, deputy director of the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais and former vice-president Harald Stanghelle, political editor of the Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten. Both men, who will remain on the WEF board, will hold the same positions as they previously held in the newly-formed GEN, which is to be officially launched on 23 March 2011.

Vidal-Folch and Stanghelle both resigned their posts from the WEF board on 14 February 2011, according to WEF’s website. The same page shows that Roman Gallo, the founder of now defunct hyperlocal newspaper project the Naše Adresa in the Czech Republic, resigned on the same day. And, earlier this month, WEF director Bertrand Pecquerie also stepped down.

A full list of the GEN Board members and founding members will be released on launch, according to its website.

A source told Journalism.co.uk that the aim of the new organisation is to gather editors from all platforms (print, broadcast, online, mobile and wire services) and to create an “Editors’ Lab” for new editorial services and new applications.

GEN has published its full manifesto online, reproduced in part below:

We, the editors-in-chief and senior news executives founding the Global Editors Network (GEN), are convinced that news producers and newsrooms across all platforms – print, broadcast, online, mobile and wire services – face comparable challenges.
Because digitalization and broadband access accelerate media convergence, we are members of the same community, all driven by a journalistic imperative and a common goal: Content and Engagement First!

As we are entering a new era for content across multiple platforms, we will:

  • break the barriers between editors of old and new media, print and digital, general interest and specialized publications, free and paid business models, profit and non-profit organisations, international and local media outlets;
  • understand the new news ecosystem based on immediacy, information overload and disintermediation: media are no longer middlemen and users blur the lines between production and consumption in a new world of prosumption;
  • define a vision for the future of journalism, cross-media strategies, attention and audience analysis, newsroom management, dynamics of the news business and ethical values. Lack of vision is the worst that can happen to our community;
  • welcome new players within the newsroom’s collective intelligence: engineers, developers, visual designers, app-makers, community managers, curators, aggregators, researchers and other practitioners of the link economy who enrich our vision;
  • enhance the quality of journalism in its different dimensions: newsgathering, news curation, storytelling, fact and data checking, designing, moderating and sharing, regardless of the platform, browser or application used;
  • continue experimentation and innovation. We consider that mobility, users’ engagement, personalisation, location-based news, data-driven journalism and rich media are key to the future of journalism;
  • encourage mutualisation and co-operation between media. Among us, we are not competitors, but… potential partners. Resulting in the emergence of a new culture among senior news executives and new cross-offerings for consumers;
  • convince media owners that slashes in editorial expenses are no longer a good answer for media outlets because – even for digital natives – content and engagement will make the difference, not only the technology;
  • stop acting like victims of disruptive technologies or lack of citizenship. We are optimistic about the new digital tools and the new channels of distribution offered to us as news producers;
  • reinforce the pillars of credibility of our profession based on context, accuracy, relevance, reliability, loyalty to the audience, effectiveness and connectedness, as citizens’ distrust is the main threat for our civil societies.

Interested parties are invited to contribute to the manifesto here. You can also follow GEN on Twitter @EditorsNet.

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN), the parent organisation to WEF, merged with IFRA, the worldwide news research and services organisation, in June 2010.