Tuesday, 7 October 2008

'Journalists should get out more'


I attended the 10th Journalism Leaders Forum at UCLan in Preston this evening where a distinguished panel discussed the future of the industry.

Joining Forum chairman and founder of the Journalism Leaders Programme Francois Nel was: Vice President of Content and Strategy at Morris Digital Works, Steve Yelvington; Blogs Editor for the Guardian, Kevin Anderson; MD of Newspaper Next, Steve Gray; Johnston Press Chair in Digital Journalism Jane Singer; and Lancashire Evening Post Editorial Director, Simon Reynolds.

So with that, here's some key quotes from the forum:

Steve Gray:
"The web means our readers will be looking for content online that is relevant to their lives. We need to be 'the' utility people turn to."
"Banner advertising, which is now the largest source of digital ad revenue will become the the smallest as we find new ways to post advertising online."
Kevin Anderson:
"There's very few journalists who are good across all media. You must allow journalists to work to their strengths."
Simon Reynolds:
"The biggest challenge for journalists is the mental challenge. Thinking across multi media is difficult."

"News is the biggest driver online. Local news, local sport.
"Reveal and inform and the audience will come."
Steve Gray:
"Journalists need to go back to the people they serve and address the issues that relate to them.
"Get out of the building and speak to the people you want to reach."
Kevin Anderson:
"Newspapers haven't taken advantage of the disruptive technologies digital has introduced."
"The journalists who succeed are the ones who don't wait for training, but get out there and do it."
Jane Singer:
"Newspaper companies could go a long way if the advertising departments looked at the innovations being spearheaded in the newsroom and worked on monetising those innovations."
Steve Gray:
"What are the readers' needs that need to be met?
"What can 'we' do to meet those needs?"
Francois Nel:
"After what we have heard this evening, it is encouraging to discover that there is a commercial viable option for journalism."
Steve Gray:
"If those upstairs in your management aren't on board with digital, then update your resume and get out.
"If you want to stay in a rapidly shrinking industry, then just stay where you are."

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