Top 10 Newsroom Trends for 2014

11 Jun,2014


By A Correspondent


The past year has been a defining one for newsrooms. The realities, reach, infinite possibilities and, in particular, the risks of the digital age have become ever more apparent.


For editors and journalists, this has been both good and bad news. The exposé of the extent of state surveillance through Edward Snowden’s leaks sparked stellar investigative journalism and unprecedented global collaboration between publications and editors.


The World Editors Forum unveiled its 2014 Trends in Newsroom report at its annual meetings in Turin, Italy, yesterday, with the repercussions from the Snowden affair taking centerstage.


The WEF report’s Top 10 newsroom trends for 2014 are:

1. Moves to shield journalism in the post-Snowden era

2. The rebooting of mobile strategy as “wearables” hit the market

3. How social media verification is supporting trust and credibility

4. The way data and analytics are driving the news agenda

5. Newspapers’ video starts to challenge broadcasters

6. The rise (and fall) of women editors

7. Global collaborative journalism breaks new barriers

8. The need for digital mega-stories

9. The ethical challenges of native advertising

10.  The evolving role of the editor


The report is based on interviews conducted with more than 30 editors and senior journalists in more than a dozen countries and incorporates trends that were tracked by the World Editor Forum’s over the past year. It includes in-depth analyses and is framed by interviews with five of the world’s news business “thought leaders”, including The Guardian’s Janine Gibson, The New York Times’ Margaret Sullivan, Knight Foundation’s Michael Maness, Twitter’s Vivian Schiller and Nation Media Group’s Joseph Odindo.


“The past year has been a defining one for newsrooms,” said Erik Bjerager, President of the Paris-based World Editors Forum, the organization within the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) for chief editors and other senior newsroom personnel.


“The exposé of the extent of state surveillance through Edward Snowden’s leaks sparked stellar investigative journalism and unprecedented global collaboration between publications and editors,” he said. “But the consequences for the way we practice our craft and communicate with sources are significant.”


The report also focuses on the evolution of news in the face of constant and rapid technological developments.


“The relentless advances in digital technology continue to redefine the newsroom,” Bjerager said. “They affect the way we organise ourselves, engage with audiences, find and verify increasingly diverse content and tell our stories.”


“The tipping towards the digital first environment has shown how many practices need urgent revisiting, ethical codes need updating, and new skills need to be introduced to allow news producers to remain competitive and relevant. The result is a unique space for creation, innovation and reinvention,” he said.


The trends the World Editors Forum has identified are based on observations of emerging and shifting newsroom practices around the globe, and an analysis of original interviews conducted with over 30 editors, senior journalists and editorial strategists from more than a dozen countries (Germany, Italy, USA, U.K., Australia, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Ukraine and Argentina) in 2014.


They have been framed by interviews with five top journalism “thought leaders.”


Janine Gibson, The Guardian’s US editor and incoming Editor-in-Chief of the global online site, will wake you up to the need for “very live, very deep and very revolutionary” journalism, along with the effects of the Snowden phenomenon. Michael Maness from The Knight Foundation issues a sharp critique of the absence of innovation within legacy newsrooms – which should signal opportunity. Joseph Odindo, Group Editorial Director of Nation Media Group discusses the dynamics of the fast-changing African newsroom. Vivian Schiller, Head of News at Twitter, tells us about the platform as a site for breaking news and improving verification techniques. And The New York Times’ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan will alert you to the impact of real-time audience engagement on editorial management.


 Trends in Newsrooms 2014 is available (in English) free to members of the World Editors Forum and for purchase by non-members.


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