- Technology has disrupted the news business, but it's also creating an immense opportunity for publishers, journalists, content creators and brands. Syndication, curation and aggregation all pose potential pathways for recovery, but which one is poised as the next sustainable business model?
On Wednesday evening, NewsCred brought together media industry titans -- including Chris Ahearn, former president, Reuters Media; Dylan Cohen, global team leader of Content Syndication for Bloomberg; and Betsy Morgan, president of The Blaze and former CEO of the Huffington Post -- for an interactive and spirited discussion on the future of the news business.All three panelists spoke frankly about just how significantly the journalism business has changed over the last few years. Here were some of the major points:
1. Focus on your audience: Successful online magazines have gone out of their way to tailor content to the interests of their audiences.
"Audiences and certainly consumers of news and information content," said Morgan, "they like a perspective and they like a brand that they can cheer for. It's often said they like a brand where they can wear a sweatshirt that says, 'I'm a reader of the Huffington Post. I'm a blogger for the Huffington Post. I'm a reader of The Blaze. I'm a contributor to The Blaze.'"
- 2. Create unique content: The web has expanded the amount of information available to consumers, but as Morgan pointed out, not all of that writing is fresh or original reporting. "There's a lot of content that publishers and brands have fooled themselves into thinking is unique," she said.Ahearn concurred with this statement, saying that there was more to be gained by focusing on your core competency. "What are you good at?" he said. "Spend time doing that. Get people to fill in the holes."Bloomberg, who built a media conglomerate on top of its terminal business is seen as an example of focusing, digging in, and drilling down."That's why Bloomberg has hundreds and hundreds of energy experts that are going very deep into very specific verticals," Morgan said. "Those guys and gals can say, 'We know an industry. We're covering a beat. We're covering companies that no one else is covering as thoughtfully and thoroughly as we are.' And that's distinctive."
- 3. Embrace technology: Brands and publishers want to buy content, but they want the process to be easy."Now that you have technology and metadata and tagging, and delivering the right content: that's almost as important as the content itself," Cohen said.4. Get the formula right: For Morgan, this means one-third opinion, one-third enterprise and investigative reporting and one-third curation.
- For a roundup of responses from the evening see a roundup created by NewsCred contributor Malik Singleton: