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7 Newsrewired takeaways

Newsrewired March 2019: seven main takeaways

| March 20, 2019 – 3:14 pm | 182 views

The Newsrewired conference, which took place on 6 March 2019 at Reuters in London, showcased once again the most interesting projects and latest trends in digital journalism.

If you weren’t there, or if you simply want to remind yourself of the topics of the day, check out this editorial selection of the best conference coverage articles.

Looking for speakers’ presentations? Find them here.

The next Newsrewired conference will take place in November 2019. We are currently working on the agenda and will announce the date soon. If you would like to participate as a speaker or a sponsor, please get in touch with our editorial team.

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The double-edged sword of blockchain

| March 6, 2019 – 6:26 pm | 614 views

From left: Marcela Kunova, Troy Norcross, Christian de Vartavan and Mark Devlin

Many journalists and publishers are struggling to get to grips with blockchain.

To explain it in simple terms, blockchain is a growing list of records  – called blocks – which are encrypted and linked. Each block also contains a timestamp and other information about the origin of data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data it contains, which may come in handy when we need to protect news content from tampering or even censorship.

Another advantage of data stored in a blockchain is that it has been recorded and validated by other users, who can be humans or computers, thus helping verification.

Troy Norcross is the co-founder of Blockchain Rookies, a company that advises businesses on using blockchain in their day-to-day work.

To make the concept of blockchain more accessible to the delegates, Norcross used a metaphor of an Excel spreadsheet: it is a way to add data into rows, validate them and link them in columns. This creates a chain that any user can see at any time, with the possibility to verify who and when entered the data and where it came from.

According to Norcross, thank to these attributes blockchain allows journalists to “get paid, get published, get recognised, and get trusted.”

But there are more advantages that come with blockchain: possibility of instant payments, preserving the authenticity of journalist’s work against plagiarism, and validation from a trusted community of users.

How?

Christian de Vartavan, advisor and global ambassador for PUBLIQ used some visual aids to help the audience grasp how blockchain works: he produced a receipt spike and invited the delegates to imagine they are a community of users who are building a new blockchain.

Next, he presented three members of the audience with a 50p coin, wrote down the record of this ‘transaction’ on a post-it which he put on the spike, thus adding a ‘block’ of data to the metaphorical blockchain. Since everyone has witnessed these transactions we all agreed they were verified.

Christian de Vartavan from PUBLIQ uses a receipt spike and post-its to demonstrate how blockchain technology works.

This verification system can be particularly useful to journalists, notably to fight mis- and disinformation.

Mark Devlin is the founder and CEO of Newsblock, a blockchain-powered platform that converts news content into verified data and stores it in a tamper-proof archive.

He spoke about how data can be extracted from articles, audio and video content, verified by the community of users and then uploaded to a database where it can be stored free from bias and inconsistencies that we often find in the media.

Although blockchain technology can help fight fake news, there is one notable downside.

“Blockchain is a double-edged sword when it comes to disinformation,” said de Vartavan, adding that the tamper-proof technology also allows false information to be available forever, since once a block has been added to the chain, it cannot be corrected or deleted.

Publishers are experimenting with smart speakers, addressing concerns around monetisation and discoverability

| March 6, 2019 – 5:59 pm | 396 views
Smart Speakers panel

Difficulty to monetise, discover content and issues around privacy are some of the reasons why publishers are reluctant to start producing content for voice-controlled devices, despite their potential to be a new revenue and content stream. At Newsrewired (6 March), a panel of experts discussed how they are tackling these concerns.

BBC Local News Partnerships: collaborating with regional titles strengthens both local and national news agenda

| March 6, 2019 – 2:46 pm | 251 views
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by Hannah Wilson

Journalism and life very much happens outside of the capital. That was the message from Matthew Barraclough, head of BBC Local News Partnerships (LNP), speaking at newsrewired (6 March 2019).
While here in the …

How NZZ increased its conversion rate up to five times with dynamic ‘paygates’

| March 6, 2019 – 12:56 pm | 351 views
Rouven Leuener

Rouven Leuener is group head of digital product at Neue Zürcher Zeitung, one of the oldest German-language newspapers in Switzerland. He took the lead on digital innovation five years ago and shared his experience of experimenting with dynamic ‘paygates.’

Agenda update: new speakers and lunchtime workshop alternative

| March 5, 2019 – 11:46 am | 328 views
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With only one day to go to our Newsrewired conference, taking place tomorrow at Reuters in London, UK, we are pleased to announce two new speakers will be joining us on the day.

1 week to go until Newsrewired | Three new speakers joining the conference

| February 27, 2019 – 3:49 pm | 437 views
Newsrewired 1 week

Speakers from Reach, Nice-Matin and NewsBlocks will join us at Newsrewired

Is it worthwhile converting your written content into audio and making it available on Amazon Alexa or Google Chrome? What if stories focused on solutions rather than problems could attract a larger audience? And why is it important to get out of the London bubble and focus on your regional readers?

How to move from advertising to reader revenue

| February 25, 2019 – 12:31 pm | 499 views
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Mark Little, CEO of Kinzen, will be joining the panel on new ways to finance journalism in the digital age.

Kinzen is developing personal news routines that connect active news seekers and quality publishers. Mark will be sharing some of the lessons he’s learned and solutions Kinzen’s building for publishers seeking more valuable personal engagement with their users.

More speakers joining Newsrewired panels

| February 22, 2019 – 9:55 am | 428 views
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We have some more exciting news about Newsrewired!

Five new speakers will be joining our panels, and we even have a new workshop for you.

With only 10 days left until the event, tickets are selling fast. Don’t leave it until the last minute and book your place today for just £190 +VAT.

Meet your keynote speaker: Rouven Leuener, group head of digital product at Neue Zürcher Zeitung

| February 18, 2019 – 11:31 am | 777 views
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Rouven Leuener is group head of digital product at Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), one of the oldest Swiss, German-language newspapers. He took the lead on digital innovation five years ago and, during this time, he launched a number of digital products, such as a text-to-speech audio player feature that converts written articles into audio, to widen audience reach.

5 things you will learn at Newsrewired

| February 7, 2019 – 12:41 pm | 681 views
Newsrewired 6 March join us

How to reinvent your mobile storytelling

Fifty-six per cent of UK news consumers get their news via smartphone. Although technology has changed the distribution of news dramatically, most stories are still told in the same way as they were 100 years ago. One of our workshops will teach you how to create mobile-friendly stories using creative visual formats, such as AMP stories, timelines, and more.

How can the media make the most of voice-controlled devices?

| February 1, 2019 – 1:33 pm | 680 views
Smart speakers panel

Despite the rise in sales of voice-controlled devices, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, the difficulty of monetising content holds publishers back from innovating on voice platforms.

One of the panels at the Newsrewired conference will explore projects by early adopters and look at the benefits of investing in smart, speaker-friendly content.