Thought Leaders on the ‘Future of News’

Part 1 — Quotes on the Future of News

The quotes below are a subset of those taken from my research into the Future of News, and this is part of a 3 part series I’m writing.

Google Doc of quotes is here if you want to use it:
bit.ly/FutureNewsQuotes

Part 1 — Quotes on the Future of News
Part 2 — ‘Facts’ and Predictions on the Future of News
Part 3 — Increasing the Bottom line for the Future of Newsrooms


“2016 will see credible newsrooms use cheap satire to lure users from the new news distribution channels being created in 2015”


My Top 3

At a glance

“Increasing Audience Engagement is Future for News Media”
~ Jack Loechner, Increasing Audience Engagement

“Follow the money and you’ll find the future of news”
~ Peter Preston, Follow the Money

“Humor is moving from satire to mainstream.
Jon Oliver is one example. We believe that satire is the future.”

~ Daily Pnut, Is Satire the Future of News?

On Revenue

Advertising isn’t paying the bills anymore

“…media outlets to think very carefully about their revenue models. As news organizations move from having a primarily offline audience to one that’s primarily online, it’s critical to look for ways of making money that aren’t purely about advertising or purely about subscription.”
~ Ethan Zuckerman, Future of News

“Paywalls are not the future of news,” … “Paywalls work in some cases, help bring in some money — and some money is better than no money — but if you’re looking to have an impact in a community, you need to be read, listened to, and watched.”
~ Eric Pape / Ryan Ozawa, Future Of News

“It’s time to tear down your content walls, question all the rules of your past and work together as an industry to create a social network for aggregated news before the new bullies on the block build it first and steal your audience”
~ Nikolay Malyarov, Connecting People through News

On the Role of Journalists

Lack of resources means journalists fall into ‘curation roles’ either that or they leave the field for higher paying positions

“This would also mean that while citizen journalists may break out news, the credibility of that news will only go up when it is vetted by say, a top journalist or a top news agency.”
~ Shraddha Shirodkar, The future of news? More hyper, more local

“This is not about downsizing; it is about refocusing our considerable resources”
~ John Micklethwait, Read full article

“At first, it seemed like an okay way for a journalist to make an extra buck, too. [Writing content articles] paid well and steadily, after all. Journalism, not so much. And it was pretty easy work, done for companies that aren’t so terrible” ~ Amy Westervelt, Content used to be King, Now it’s the Joker

“Nonetheless one can still argue that newspapers can transform to play a curation role where they connect consumers to as many direct news sources as possible directly playing minimum middleman.”
~ Shraddha Shirodkar, The future of news? More hyper, more local

On Current Trends

Using distribution platforms will mean newspapers compete for brand awareness and click-throughs

“…and we’re working on it with Instant Articles. When news is as fast as everything else on Facebook, people will naturally read a lot more news” ~ Mark Zuckerberg, Q&A

“One big difference between [Facebook Instant Articles] and this one: Google and Twitter are creating their publishing tools as an open source project, and hope to convince multiple tech companies to adopt it.” ~ Peter Kafka, Mark Bergen, Google and Twitter Team up

“Nearly 100 newspapers will participate in The Washington Post partner program first announced earlier this year. Several papers have already begun rolling out the program to their subscribers”
~ Washington Post

“…but there are concerns that Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles — which are not paying for the content — will chip away at the notion of a newspaper or magazine website as a standalone brand to be digested whole…”
~ Matthew Garrahan and Hannah Kuchler, Read full article

“…Facebook wants to increase the time its users spend on the platform: news lures people back to its mobile app more frequently and encourages them to linger there for longer…”
~ Matthew Garrahan and Hannah Kuchler, Read full article

On Distribution

Satire will play a role for newsrooms to engage on social networks in an attempt to attract users to the brand

“If I were running a news organization today, accepting that we let the tech industry own our distribution system, I would first incorporate it into my plans by flowing all my headlines through Twitter and Facebook, and then start to create our own distribution system”
~ Dave Winer, How to rebuild journalism

“The publishers of tomorrow will become like the wire services of today, pushing their content across a large number of platforms they don’t control and didn’t design.”
~ Ezra Klein, Is the Media becoming a Wire Service?

“Now the fate of publishers increasingly depends on social platforms such as Facebook, where billions of people discover news to read and videos to watch. And the social platforms are equally interested in the media business.”
~ Alyson Shontell, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and the Future of News

“digital media companies should be prepared for a ‘post-traffic era’.”
~ Jon Steinberg

“..this is a very unequal competition: a local news outlet cannot compete with a global social corporation such as Facebook or Twitter. Journalism is losing out fast.”
~ Eugenia Siapera, Read full article

On Engagement

There should be cause for concern, if newsrooms only engage on social networks ie. the same platforms that will now be controlling how news gets distributed

“We’re trying to define our own metrics of success: Increasing the audience’s connection with our content, creating more loyal subscribers, growing a sense of loyalty, creating dependence on our content.” … “growing our audiences, thinking about who might be interested in the stories we’re telling in different formats and on different platforms.”
~ Renée Kaplan, FT’s first head of audience engagement, approaches her new role

“Within a few weeks of each other, Recode, Mic, The Week, and Reuters all announced that they were closing down their comment sections.”
~ Justin Ellis, What happened after 7 news sites got rid of reader comments

“The benefits to social are that people are already on those networks, already holding conversations and sharing stories, Swisher told me.”
~ Justin Ellis, What happened after 7 news sites got rid of reader comments

“…the audience engagement editor is of particular interest to me. The reason is not just because of its novelty job description, it is also because how this job is appearing in other newsrooms, sometimes with slightly different job titles.”
~ Mu Lin, Two audience engagement “newsroom of the future”

On Community

There’s a war cry to ‘go back to local’, journalists need to find engagement methods that don’t use social networks, and hence a very big catch 22 situation arises.

“Community means different things to different organizations. But regardless of how community is defined, if media companies are not emotionally connected to their constituencies in meaningful ways, those customers will drift to publishers they perceive as more interesting”
~ Randy Bennett, Why the Future of Media and Journalism Really Is Bright

“Simply put: civic journalism worked. Readers and viewers got it. We learned that if you deliberately build in simple ways for people to participate. …Particularly if they feel they have something to contribute to the problem.”
~ Jan Schaffer, If audience engagement is the goal, it’s time to look back

“…stop thinking of the product they create as being 100 sheets of paper with news on it. Rather, the industry needs to see itself as creating relationships that keep people informed.”
~ Gary Stein, The Next Newspaper Revolution

“The most common topic covered by hyperlocal media is community activities, e.g. festivals, clubs and societies, local councils and the services they provide.” These topics are also most popular with audiences, along with “local weather and traffic.”
~ Laura Hazard Owen, The hyperlocal news landscape

“…tapping into the power of a digital community requires shedding some of the work habits of a traditional reporter. Today’s journalists can’t just gather facts and quotes and dispense them to the public; they must actively seek out their audience and create opportunities for interaction. “If you don’t hear from your readers, the tendency is to have a very insular notion of your beat,”
~ Dan Gilgoff, Jake Batsell’s new book on engaged journalism

“This role [engagement editor / community weaver], among others defined by NewsTools participants, helped redraw the news enterprise of the future — with a focus that goes beyond news to engagement and building relationships with the communities we serve.”
~ Maurreen Skowran, Building the Future of News

On News Consumption

People get ‘news’ from Twitter and ‘journalism’ from elsewhere.

“On the decline of print readership, Badar Alam said that it is not only about reading newspapers but is about a habit of reading a newspaper.”
~ Media talk: Journalists discuss future of news

“[Reuters Institute] suggests that only a few of these [BBC, CNN, The Guardian, New York Times, HuffPo, BuzzFeed] players will achieve the volume of consumption necessary for success. However, national brands enjoy protection in their markets and should be able to continue.”
~ Mediaweek, Tracking the Future of News

On Technology

Newsrooms don’t have the resources to build the tech they need.

“Again and again, we heard that the problem with too many of these good [news] organizations is that they put no resource into development?”
~ Jeff Jarvis, Philanthropy and News