by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : August September 2007
44 PANPA Bulletin August-September 2007 If we were starting a newspaper com- pany today, how would we do it? We would, obviously, look at the threats and opportunities emanating from the new technology. But the guiding princi- ple remains the same -- that is, what we do must be relevant to our audiences. There's a lot of talk about technology but the key is still about the quality of our journalism - whether it's delivered in print, online, on a mobile, with video, audio or by other means. In my 40-plus years in this industry, there has never been a more exciting time for journalism. The social function and value of quality journalism is even more important today than it was because, today, audiences have many more choices about who they turn to for news, information and entertainment. Newspapers have to do more to cut through the clutter. Audiences have less time than ever before to make those choices. Audiences are more sophisticated, discerning and demanding than in previous generations. And they are less loyal to the brands they once trusted and more agnostic about the platforms they use. With more competition for our readers' time, we can't create more time for them. But we can increase the value and relevance of what we offer. The news cycle is changing forever. It's becoming: my mobile to alert me; the inter- net to tell me; TV to show me and print to explain it, give it context, and tell me what it really means This doesn't mean that newspapers will no longer break stories. Far from it. But it has made our newsrooms a bit schizophrenic about which exclusives we keep for the next morning and which stories we break on other platforms. It also means our newspaper mastheads -- and our journalists -- have an unprec- edented chance to reach more people than ever, not fewer. We need to extend our brands to as many platforms as possible. Our business is journalism and we need to adapt our journalism to the new way of engaging. As people shift online and a slice of ad dollars goes with them, there is a lot of work going into capitalising on the growth of the internet. Print, with radio, TV and outdoor have traditionally relied on the ability to commu- nicate with the masses. But the internet is taking us into the next phase of media. Social media sites like Myspace, Facebook and YouTube link individuals, who at the same time are communicating with one another, with a group of them together or with the masses. The challenge for the traditional media is to become part of the online scene and leverage it to spread their brands. But do we have the right ideas, the right pool of talent and the right technology to make the shift to produce the journalism our audiences want? All of us face these questions: Is it bet- ter to operate in silos and repurpose and repackage content from one platform to another or multi-skill all your staff to create one pool of talent that can work on any platform? Are we as an industry fully exploiting the use of our content across the other plat- forms now available to us? Some newspapers in Europe have already moved to 24/7 newsrooms to pro- duce print and digital content for multiple mastheads. In some cases there has been a radical change to the physical layouts of news- rooms. Some have worked, some haven't. Do our editors and senior editorial staff have the management skills to recruit, develop, train and motivate the next genera- tion of journalists whose editorial roles will be so fundamentally different to the roles we have performed in our careers? If we don't have those skills, how do we develop them? Where are the technology gaps in our editorial systems -- be that for print, online or other digital applications? In deciding how to revolutionise our business, we need to decide what to keep, what to change and what to throw out. You can't throw everything out or you'll just have anarchy. But equally you can't hold on to everything or you'll die. Print organisations around the world are grappling with the best way to adapt their traditional businesses in a digital age. Some are further down the track than others and there's been mixed success. Many major publishers have tried many different approaches with mixed results. There was the turmoil of job cuts and threatened strike action at the English Daily Telegraph last year when it leapt into a fully integrated newsroom; At The Washington Post, which has a progressive online news site, they have kept their newsrooms physically separate on op- posite sides of the Potomac River. The New York Times has wrestled with very different approaches to integration over the past decade, at times integrating everything, after separation failed. At the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today they believe firmly in web-first publishing - that is "break it on the web, expand on it in print.": At The Times in London, they produced both broadsheet and tabloid versions of the paper for a year before abandoning the larger edition and at the same time started merging print and online -- but confined it to the business desk. The 24/7 newsroom means every roster, work practice and habit must change. Change should be led and supported from the top but responsibility for the specific changes should be driven by the frontline staff in the newsrooms. Change won't happen by osmosis. Specific teams of people with responsibility for change are needed to make it happen. The most successful integrated news- rooms use one publishing management system for all platforms. Highly trained staff will be in greater de- Quality journalism remains a key in building the multimedia newspaper company, said News Ltd Chief executive John Hartigan in his address to the PANPA conference. Following is a summarised version: News Limited Chairman and Chief Executive, John Hartigan keynote address