17 trends for newspaper journalism

28 Jan,2013


At the Newsroom Summit at the WAN-IFRA Conference 2012 in Pune, Eric Bjerager, president, World Editors Forum, Denmark, spoke about 17 trends to watch out for in journalism. While stressing that the forum aimed to work for press freedom, editorial excellence and quality journalism, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi: …man should understand the dignity of labour, and his work should be such that it advances interest in the community to which he belongs. “This is the heart of our profession,” Mr Bjerager said. Sashi Nair, Editor, Vidura picks highlights from the speech.


Eric Bjerager

1. Newsrooms are increasingly outsourced. This includes editorial functions considered journalism’s core. Australia’s Fairfax has moved subbing operations to New Zealand, as have several British newspapers (to Australia). Editors are looking for faster and flexible freelancers, journalists are finding it more effective to work in teams and make concerted efforts.


2. Two-speed journalism is now a reality. Yes, social networks matter; to be first is no longer as important as to be relevant.


3. Long-form journalism is now on the rise. It is making a comeback (the success of The Caravan is an example in India) and people are using iPads and mobile phones to access long-form journalism.


4. Newsrooms come in many organizational models. The change has been faster in the past ten years than the previous 90 years combined. Keeping up with the pace of change is a huge challenge for editors all over the world. Newsrooms are organized in a variety of ways, there is no one single form as such. The creators report stories, the curators select, decide and produce the stories for every platform, and the team ensures that news reaches as many people as possible via social media. The challenge is to get readers interested in stories.


5. Breaking news is digital. News lives on the Internet, on Twitter, on Facebook; breaking news on Twitter is faster than what radio or television can do. It makes the TV station look antiquated, but yes, speed prevails over accuracy.


6. Data journalism is accepted as a discipline. People are increasingly getting interested in analysing data.


7. Infographics dominate the web. From pictures to maps and illustrations, there’s an explosion of infographics on the web and that is driving the change in newspapers


8. Barriers between print and broadcast are shrinking. Multimedia journalism is becoming the rule. However, it remains to be seen whether videos produced by newspapers and print journalists will dominate the living rooms in the future.


9. Video is becoming a social affair. High-quality videos, live streaming of debates are attracting more people online. They are invited to give comments, expert comments are also invited via Skype, live, and thus, there is great interactivity.


10. There is more momentum from mobile. You can reach your audiences no matter where they are. The challenge is of course to make the investment in the mobile platform viable.


11. Social media enriches journalism. But there are many questions such as should the reporter use social media merely as a tool for research. And there are no easy answers.


12. Social media talent will invigorate our editorial staff. A new team (breed) of reporters and editors are entering our newsrooms, using Twitter and Facebook. It helps you know where to move.


13. Digital training is a necessity. Digital journalism is constantly developing; tools and methods are changing every day. Today’s reporters have only a fraction of the skills needed to survive in the modern newsroom. Digital storytelling is a must to survive in the long-run.


14. Reporters are better curators than bloggers or aggregators. As the world gets bigger, people need more curation (selecting and summarising content, adding value). Newspaper reporters are good curators, they have professional insight and access to the right sources. We need curation to be aggregators.


15. Journalism must be found. Headlines and lead paragraphs must be optimised for search engines. Finding a relevant article has become as important as writing a story.


16. All-round newspapers are challenged online by big tabloids. The Daily Mail has become the most visited news site; it focuses on tabloid journalism. Indeed, the classic newspaper struggles for advertising.


17. Ethics is all about going back to the basics. We must ensure readers trust us, we live on trust, this is our main asset, if our readers don’t trust us we don’t have a chance to survive. We must constantly remind ourselves that getting the story right is important.


Eric Bjerager is editor-in-chief of Danish national newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad and president of the World Editors Forum. He spoke at the Newsroom Summit conducted at the WAN-IFRA Conference 2012 in Pune. This article was published in the January-March 2013 edition of Vidura. Published here  with permission of the Editor, Mr Sashi Nair


Post a Comment 

One response to “17 trends for newspaper journalism”

  1. apoorva says:

    its not the kind of exact required information i am looking for in recent trends in newspaper journalism