“Biggest threat to publishers not business models or big tech, but innovation”

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Although technology and business models are both critical to running a successful newsroom in today’s world, but these are not the most important risk facing publishers. It is the reluctance to innovate that has the greater potential of shutting down many news organisations says a study by WAN-IFRA and the CEO of New York Times.

The study which relied on 80,000 data points drawn from a survey and analysed alongside World Bank indicators, found that there is correlation between the variables that indicate the nature of the organisation’s culture and the indicators of firm performance. Firms with cultures in which innovators flourish were significantly more likely to report both increases in overall revenues and overall profits.

“You don’t drive innovation; you build a culture and organisation that embrace and encourage it.” Mark Thompson, CEO of New York Times, explained during the 71st World News Media Congress in Glasgow on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

For him, the biggest existential challenge facing publishers is not the platforms, but getting stuck with a single demographic and growing old with them, while losing touch with future and younger audiences.

The WAN-IFRA noted that the organisations with cultures where innovation thrives have clear measures of success, which can be captured on three levels: external, enterprise and personal.

For instance, Globe Lab director, Gordon Edall disclosed that people at Globe and Mail who want to innovate get box with coffee card and $1,000 credit card with no questions asked on how they want to spend it.

Greg Barber, director of newsroom product at Washington Post also noted that the organisation’s hybrid newsroom structure is such that stories are reported by section, with the help of collaborators and specialists, guided by operations editors; social embeds (platform-specific optimization) and project editors for … Read More...