Live from the Ohio Newspaper Association Convention
By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association
Tom Rosenstiel, Executive Director of the American Press Institute, delivered a thought-provoking keynote during today’s luncheon at the Ohio Newspaper Association Convention.
Regarded as one of the nation’s most recognized thinkers on the future of media, Rosenstiel told the audience, “We must be data-driven as journalists going forward. We live in a user-controlled world. We must adapt.” He believes that in order to thrive, we must actively be engaging with citizens in our communities.
Seven lessons for journalists:
1. Audiences are consuming more news, not less. 25% read more news and 32% get more news than before due to mobile. Mobile is a powerful multiplier.
2. Technology has helped us in many ways. The average age of a newspaper reader is 54; it drops to 37 for digital readers; and 33 for mobile-only news readers
3. The key–understand the cycle of news discovery (50% first hear about breaking news on TV–then they go elsewhere to learn more. 60% go to established sources/brands they know & trust.) Media must leverage the “synergy of screens”–smartphone & tablet owners are twice as likely to pay for news online.
4. The future is mobile… and social. Mobile will be the primary digital platform in the next year. Mobile is the real Web 2.0. It’s the opportunity for publishers to figure out their digital future. We need to create these products before they pay for themselves. Mobile readership grew by 58% in 2012. Mobile-only grew by 83% (don’t use a desktop). The mobile device is becoming the primary screen at night. More than half the population is regularly using social. Social is not a threat–it’s a way to engage audiences that are not inclined to come in a traditional way. Deseret went from 100,000 on social media to 50 million in two years.
5. There is no such thing as the “online experience.” Behavior changes with time of the day, the device and the context (bored at work is different from standing in line). And, by audience group (mobile-only, power users, etc.) 73% of tablet owners read long-form stories; 70% for mobile.
6. Audience focused means thinking of journalism differently. Journalism is no longer a static product. Citizens bring experience, expertise and multiple vantages. They are assets to our newsrooms. Journalists are there to interpret, etc. You need to keep changing. Once consumers see something better, it becomes the new expectation. New technologies provide new tools for better reporting. Technology is our future and not a disruption. The bar is higher.
7. Journalism has to be more transparent. Before: Trust = brand. Now: Trust = transparency (show me the evidence; prove to me why I should buy you). What disrupted this industry will save it.