With newspapers and print magazines dropping like flies and online sites being redefined, bought by other companies or just vanishing, one would incline to see a dark future for journalism as we know it. If there are no newspapers and people stop reading traditional media outlets, then we might be speaking of a product with no buyers.
But is it really so? Did we just give up on journalistic products or do we simply need new channels or ways to assimilate them? While some say video killed the radio star, radios are doing just fine! Online or offline they still get quite some advertising money coming in and they keep paying the bills. Veterans to the war for attention such as newspapers do know how to survive, on whether they move on your phone or online, they will find their way to you. And televisions, they should have it easier in this equation.
The creator of Google News, Krishna Bharat, is also optimistic about the future of journalism. While attending the IJ-7 conference at Stanford University dedicated to Innovation Journalism, he was interviewed on the future of news reporting and the changes he foresees. Convinced journalism has a pretty secure future ahead, Krishna Bharat is a bit fuzzy on how what exactly will happen, but he has identified a few main changes to be made in the next 5 years of so.
In order to adapt to the new market of journalism, this is a potential path to success and/or survival:
- Redefine goals and get clear on what they want to do. In other words, every journalistic organization will need to choose a topic or specialty, be it a location based choice or a matter of sunject of choice. Niches anyone?
- Maximize use of social media – this is a rather predictable trend with online publication adding Twitter buttons, Facebook share options and generally focusing on making their content easy to post on social media sites.
- Smart packaging and payments – easy and quick choices seems the be the best idea for any type of business – easy and straightforward opting-in, being able to access the articles you are interested in and flexible payment options are key to the keeping journalistic organizations relevant.
- Render ads effective by better adapting them and the products they promote to the audience they’re targeting.
- Innovation in packaging – mainly meaning publications will need to be able to stream content (both created by then and by others publishers) based on the readers’ subject interest.
The full interview is embedded below. The input The Next Web brings to the table. They see apps gaining even more ground while the adoption of third party readers and aggregators will be left behind, leading to a persistent difficulty in monetizing content.
The conclusion, though a little obvious, is that all businesses need to adapt in order to survive. And journalism is a business, although we fail to see that. The tradition of the field, long history and often changes its representatives had to face is enough to promise a continuously interesting presence in our world.