| NAA mediaXchange is the largest annual gathering of industry executives in North America, offering unprecedented networking opportunities that combine an exchange of information and ideas with programming designed to generate results. The conference is designed to provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. Sessions highlight leading-edge thinking about media strategies, successes in product and revenue development, new ideas and innovation inside and outside the industry, and tactics and techniques to employ in print and digital.
Navigating the changing news ecosystem
By Brooke Auxier
The relationship between advertisers and publishers, and changes in technology, were among the main topics at this Newspaper Association of America panel.
Though a disconnect exists between advertisers and newspapers, panelists agreed that the two had worked hand-in-hand in the past, placing fault on current advertising models.
“If you were in the newspaper business, you were in the advertising business . . .,” said Michael Wolff, founder of Newser, an online news curator. “It worked for a long time.”
“Advertising is a piece of content, and if you don’t treat it like that, and understand like that, that becomes a problem,” he added.
Expressing optimism about the future, David Westin of NewsRight suggested that the newspaper industry hasn’t exhausted its options in terms of advertising. “The overall appetite for news in this country is growing, not diminishing,” he said.
On its website, NewsRight bills itself as offering “a range of services to bridge the gap between journalists who invest in original news reporting and businesses whose products and services are fueled by news content and news analytics.”
While panelists agreed that interest in news content has varied little, they said ways in which the content is consumed has changed dramatically.
Technologies and tools that are actively changing the industry include tablets, social media platforms, aggregation systems and a general push toward digital innovation.
“I think Facebook is now completely transforming the way people think about news and think about publishing, and the way people think about the Web,” Wolff said.
Others believe that traditional publishing will soon become secondary. Josh Quittner, editorial director of Flipboard, a social news application, believes that publishers must shift their focus from paper to digital.
In the future, he said, “it’s hard for me to believe that paper will be the dominant thought for a publisher.”
Panelists were collectively uncertain about the future for newspapers and journalism industry, but they agreed that digital media is here to stay and that publishers should take note.
“The best hires you can make over the next three years are engineers, developers and technologists,” said Betsy Morgan, president of The Blaze, news and opinion website. Moderating the panel was Emily Bell, a professor of Professional Practice and director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.
Brooke Auxier is a student at the University of Maryland. She is one of several local university journalism students reporting live from NAA mediaXchange 2012.
Apr 03 2012, 02:52 PM
About Amanda Knowles
Amanda Knowles is Web & Social Media Manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Before coming to NAA, Amanda spent four years working in print journalism, both at the college and professional level. She has worked as a copy editor and news page designer for two daily newspapers in northwestern Pennsylvania, The Erie Times-News and The Meadville Tribune. Most recently, she collaborated on The American Observer, the online magazine edited and produced by graduate journalism students at American University in Washington, D.C. Amanda believes strongly in the secure future of the newspaper, and is excited to be a participant in the movement to integrate traditional print media into the burgeoning digital world.