Editorializer Preview #1: the importance of anticipation with Sylvie Sanabria

This week, Sylvie Sanabria, deputy director of AFP Relaxnews newswire, shares her view on the importance of anticipation in content creation.

Why is it so important to anticipate in the news industry?

To anticipate is one of the key rules you have to follow when you work in the news industry. Especially in a news agency where journalists provide information to their fellow journalists. A contrary to journalists working for a specific media with a specific audience, we have to meet our clients’ expectations and eventually their own readers’, at the end of the information chain…

I hardly see how we could do a decent job without anticipating, looking ahead on events for example, or keeping a constant eye on new trends, because our job is to produce a material our clients will use when necessary. It could be right away or 3 weeks later.

How much can you anticipate on lifestyle news ?

It all depends on the topics. Some stories are linked to hot news, like cultural or travel, awards, etc… But many others can be anticipated: for example, we will release all the final details of the famous Hospices de Beaune wine auction on November 20, but up to 3 weeks ahead we’ll provide an article explaining how this very special auction works. That’s when anticipating makes the difference.

What are the “Editorializer Preview” about?

It gives a “taste” of our wire and of the philosophy of our agency, but it is also a working tool for our clients. It reminds them what they can expect from our wire, among many other topics.

The platform combines under one roof the Radar, the Reader, AFP Relaxnews and the On Demand service. How can users get the most out it?

AFP Relaxnews wire is at the heart of the platform. Its content is already packaged for all types of media and especially for the internet. It goes to the point, it is neutral and it can be published immediately; including all the photos or videos provided with the wire. And it is safe. That’s very important if you want to stay clean and avoid image rights issues.

The Reader screens out thousands of media 24 hours day, 7 days a week. It is a watchtower over worldwide lifestyle news, it is a great source of information and of inspiration. Finally, the Radar gives you “the temperature” of the buzz: what’s buzzing now and how much.

As far as the “On Demand” service, it meets all clients’ specific needs when necessary.

How do you foresee the news industry in 5 years from now?

It is very hard to say, since our industry is still going through major changes as far as the concentration of traditional media along with the development of thousands of alternative news sources; not to mention of course the ever growing influence of social media and of data journalism. And this revolution is far from being over.

It is very challenging for news agencies but also very exciting and it cannot be achieved without anticipation but also flexibility: some models are not working anymore, or are aging pretty bad. When working in the news industry, you definitely have to get ready to adjust when necessary and to admit that the future can be planned only up to a certain point. That’s when intuition gets into the game. I think we have to keep your eyes and ears wide opened to watch ahead, be ready to admit that the way we once chose may not necessary be the right one anymore and follow what your intuition tells us to do.

Sylvie Barba Sanabria