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It’s time to give news back to our readers

Let’s focus on them for once.

Ashley Books
Feb 8, 2017 · 3 min read

But even in today’s digital world, it’s so easy to focus on giving readers what we think they need versus what they really want.

So many newsrooms are still stuck in the print mindset — there must be somewhat lengthy written story to fill space on a page, which is then later added to a website. To add insult to injury, often times news organizations will focus on the text and then slap a video and a photo gallery online with it, calling it a “multimedia piece.”

As reporters, it’s hard for us to hear that it’s not just about the written story — but it’s something we are going to have to accept if we want journalism to survive.

Take for example the launch of Axios, a new digital publication that disseminates bite-size information about politics, technology and other topics in Tumblr-esque format. Each post is a few hundred words, with the option of clicking to read more in-depth about the topic. Readers are given the information they want, and better yet, it is given to them on their terms.

Reporting has changed, readers have changed — and so should our storytelling.

If the news industry wants to survive, then it’s about changing our entire mindset. We need to invest more time in listening to our audience to address their needs. Once we start listening, we will find simple solutions, create more engaging content and news will finally catch up with the modern reader.

Carnival of Journalism

Once a month we get together and write posts about the same…

Ashley Books

Written by

Interactive media & reporter. Self-proclaimed #crazycatlady and proud St. Louisan. I'm what you might call indoorsy.

Carnival of Journalism

Once a month we get together and write posts about the same journalism-focused topic, directed by a different host each time.

Ashley Books

Written by

Interactive media & reporter. Self-proclaimed #crazycatlady and proud St. Louisan. I'm what you might call indoorsy.

Carnival of Journalism

Once a month we get together and write posts about the same journalism-focused topic, directed by a different host each time.

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