‘Newsrooms are typically atypical’.
With so much going on, from hunting of engaging news content to creating a draft and making a news live to the readers/viewers, a newsroom has a lot to contribute. This hectic and fast paced environment needs a quick digital evolution to keep its viewers engaged.
One of the major approaches is optimizing workflows to satisfy the demand for content and reach new audience. This helps to develop new skills across multiple departments that must cater to more mobile friendly content, faster turnaround time, more original videos, smaller newsroom staffs and continued influence on social media.
Keeping this in mind, let us look at how the famous newsrooms are adapting their workflows in the modern digital space, varying from investing in skills to building collaborations.
At the Economist, increased communication across departments was the key to social media team’s success. The team has seen a 55% increase in followers year-on-year.
The New York Times found “deep desire amongst many reporters and editors to acquire new skills”. In the report of the 2020 Group, the Times said that “no newsroom in the world has more journalists who can code”.
Marta Cooper, the former deputy growth editor at Quartz explains, “[Audience data] is a central feature of our newsrooms. There is sufficient training for staff on how to make the most out of the analytics tools so it’s easy to become part of a journalist’s workflow.”
Partnerships across newsrooms are also helping to alleviate strains on resources. The result was a series of articles which led to ProPublica and the New York Daily News winning the Pulitzer Prize for public service.
Newsroom need the right pieces in place to sail through the digital shift. To be effective, you must get four things right being people, culture, tools and workflow. At last, it’s about getting the right soft and hard skills in place.
Some of the ideas are,
Automating online content using artificial intelligence is a significant challenge. Algorithms struggle to understand context and pick up on hate speeches. Facebook, YouTube are already working towards detection of fake and feud news. Getting genuine and real news in front of the viewers is a better strategy to follow.
Encourage the use and experimentation of multiple techniques like paid content, ad revenue, services/classifieds and E-commerce. Give viewers access to content offline and also in vernacular languages so that this small percentage can help you generate revenue. Analyse numbers and then publish, how and when.
The future of your newsroom greatly depends on your journalists working with developers. So look for ways to help your team understand the way products are made and technologies used. Look for ways to fund basic coding workshops for your journalists and developers to know what excites them.
Encourage the use and experimentation of social media platforms, it’s where you discover, create and amplify. Create compelling content for your website and social media. Maintain pages and strong relation with your readers. Create multiple content formats like infographics, videos, etc. and use traditional and modern marketing techniques to get them strategically in front of your viewers.
Be strongly ready and flexible to changes over time. Make sure to evolve your roles, plans and workflows without any delay. Find easy wins for the team and set expectations. Maintain continuous training in the newsroom and develop.
Few of the techniques to which newsroom soon adapted were, one-size-fits-all image, ecosystem friendly, storytelling content, instant posting and fundamental learning.
It is clear that the newsroom are embracing the change and adapting to the process of digital evolution. Growth in readership and reader engagement will ultimately determine the success of each newsroom. It is impossible to say to what extent the initiative has contributed to the company’s bottom line, but there is evidence of driving digital subscriptions and giving you financial results.
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