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How changing a business model can help future-proof news organisations

| November 8, 2018 – 1:31 pm | 107 views

The decline in advertising revenue was one of the major factors leading to the closure of many local newsrooms. Although the media industry is yet to find a sustainable model for financing local journalism in the digital age, a number of new initiatives suggest that adopting a new business model can help solve some of the challenges.

Speaking at newsrewired on 7 November, panellists discussed how they are experimenting with different business models, testing out memberships, audience engagement strategies and community building projects.

1. Membership and cooperative model

Since being rolled out three years ago, the Guardian’s membership scheme has become one of the most oft-cited models amongst major publishers in the UK and internationally. As newsrooms debate whether they need to follow suit, if the Guardian’s lessons in memberships are anything to go by, it can certainly help to get loyal readers to reach into their pockets and back their journalistic cause.

However, new media startups have shown creativity in this field too and are starting to rethink how to implement a membership business model. Look at how Swiss media start-up Republik is turning paying members into shareholders and has collected 7.7 million CHF (£5.8 million) from mostly memberships in a recent crowdfunding campaign.

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Going vertical: How Pink News reimagined its content for a completely difference audience on Snapchat

| November 8, 2018 – 1:07 pm | 277 views

Ellen Stewart, head of content, PinkNews

“When I joined Pink News as head of content in January this year, it was the best and worst time to be in digital journalism”, Ellen Stewart said at newsrewired yesterday (7 November).

Indeed, Facebook’s announcement that it would be changing its algorithm for digital publishers in a bid to tackle fake news, shook the workflows of many news organisations who use the platform to distribute content.

However, having previously worked in audience development, which Stewart described as ‘essentially being a Facebook editor’, the change gave Pink News the chance to re-focus on their core audience.

Even before the algorithm shake-up there had been a significant drop-off in engagement and she noticed that Facebook users were not as loyal as they’d hoped, and often came from outside of their core audience of the younger lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“Our Facebook audience would come and go, they were older and straight – we had to rethink who we were trying to reach and how we would get them,” she said.

“Sexuality and identity is far more varied in Generation Z – we wanted to talk to these people coming of age online.”

In order to do this, Stewart came up with a new plan to eradicate the desktop-first approach, driving people from Facebook to the website, that was the original basis of the LGBT+ platform. The new social strategy to capture the attention of Gen Z was to focus mobile-first with Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram.

“Launching on Snapchat in July was a game changer,” she explained, noting the team had to re-think how they should tell stories on the platform, using visuals such as illustrations, memes and animations to catch the audience’s attention.

“Our demographic on Snapchat has completely shifted who we are trying to reach. 40 per cent of our audience is 18-24 on the platform, with 30 per cent 13-17 years old,” she said.

“We create content by turning longform pieces of journalism into vertical pieces of animation for the social platforms, repackaging content from the website and YouTube,” she said.

“We invested in a new team of people and transformed the way we operate – being forced to reimagine ourselves for a completely difference audience.

“It’s been worth it – we are reaching unique people, who had never heard of us before, who are getting in touch and finding us on other platforms.”

“You need to super-serve the underserved” – Engaging Generation Z with niche content at the ShoutOut Network

| November 8, 2018 – 11:26 am | 277 views

Back in 2014, Efe Jerome, the founder of the ShoutOut Network hoped to create a safe space for young people from under-represented backgrounds to tell their own stories. After sharing the vision with Imriel Morgan, …

Press Association’s news service RADAR has written 50,000 individual local news stories in three months with AI technology

| November 7, 2018 – 4:39 pm | 184 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18-Artificial intelligence in the newsroom can become your new best friend
Pete Clifton, editor-in-chief, Press Association

 
The Press Association’s latest news service RADAR — ‘reporters and data and robots’ — uses those three ingredients to write local news stories at a frequency and precision impossible otherwise.
Launched in December 2017 with Urbs …

Panels By Getty Images: The AI technology that suggests images by ‘reading’ your story

| November 7, 2018 – 1:55 pm | 356 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18-Artificial intelligence in the newsroom can become your new best friend
Benjamin Beavan, business development manager, Getty Images

Struggling to find the right picture for your piece on deadline? Getty Images have introduced new artificial intelligence technology to save you from trawling through image sites.
Speaking at newsrewired (7 November) Benjamin Beaven, business development …

Cybernetic newsroom: Why Reuters is marrying human and robot journalism

| November 7, 2018 – 1:21 pm | 495 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18-Artificial intelligence in the newsroom can become your new best friend-Reg Chua, executive editor, editorial operations, data and innovation, Reuters

Reuters is driving its journalism with human judgement and machine capability, using AI tools News Tracer and Linx Insight, explained Reg Chua, executive editor, Reuters at newsrewired today (7 November).
The ‘cybernetic newsroom’, as he described …

Top stories straight to your phone’s homepage: How one local news organisation reaches audiences through WhatsApp broadcasts

| November 7, 2018 – 12:53 pm | 270 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18

While Facebook may be depriorisiting news on the News Feed, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is a ‘back to basics’ alternative for news organisations, says Natalie Fahy, digital editor, Nottinghamshire Live speaking at newsrewired (7 November).
Fahy said Nottinghamshire …

How The Telegraph is engaging Generation Z on Snapchat

| November 7, 2018 – 11:55 am | 207 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18-Getting Generation Z engaged with the news-McKenna Grant, Snapchat senior content editor, The Telegraph
Imriel Morgan, CEO

The digitally-savvy Generation Z, made up of 13-24 year olds, have never known life without smartphones.
Snapping, swiping, liking and sharing is second nature to them, meaning news organisations must digitally adapt if they are to …

The BBC uses a virtual studio to better explain the news to young people across Africa

| November 7, 2018 – 11:31 am | 454 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18-Getting Generation Z engaged with the news-McKenna Grant, Snapchat senior content editor, The Telegraph
Imriel Morgan, CEO and co-founder, ShoutOut Network
Harriet Oliver, co-editor of Children’s News, BBC Africa
Julie Taylor, co-editor of Children’s News, BBC Africa
Ellen Stewart, head of content, PinkNews
Nick Rotherham, reporter, BBC Radio 1, moderating

BBC World Service is aiming to give 11-16 year olds across Africa a chance to tell their own stories and find out more about the world’s issues.
The television programme What’s New?, which is part of …

“Respect your heritage, retain the DNA, but always evolve” – creating a transformational culture at Vogue International

| November 7, 2018 – 10:31 am | 449 views
NewsRewired-7/11/18-Keynote: Transformation, audience growth and changing algorithms — lessons from Vogue International- Sarah Marshall

Since Vogue International was launched last year, the team has created a transformational culture within the organisation, working with the 24 Vogues around the world outside the US.
The 40 editors based in London, along with …

Newsrewired sneak peak podcast: audience growth, AI, Gen Z, fake news, and online communities

| October 25, 2018 – 11:37 am | 592 views
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With our newsrewired conference just around the corner on 7 November, this podcast catches up with a few of our confirmed speakers to explore what they will be talking about and how you can take the information from our panels and workshops into your newsroom.

Listen in to Sarah Marshall, our keynote speaker and head of audience growth at Vogue International, offering insights into growing your online pool of readers.

Join the debate on how to sustain high-quality journalism

| October 18, 2018 – 4:10 pm | 452 views
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Journalism.co.uk is pleased to announce that two prominent voices in the debate on sustainable, high-quality journalism — Rachel Oldroyd managing editor, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and Brian Cathcart, professor and founder of Hacked Off — will be joining the panel that will explore the best business models for 21st-century news organisations.