It’s time to start focusing on our readers – Raju Narisetti

Whenever anyone asks if it is time to rethink their newsroom yet again, “the answer should always be ‘Yes,’ ” says Raju Narisetti, Senior Vice President and Deputy Head of Strategy for News Corp, USA.

by Brian Veseling | October 8, 2013

Speaking during the opening session of the 12th International Newsroom Summit on Monday afternoon in Berlin, Narisetti highlighted a number of ways those in the news industry need to start accepting today’s realities and try to make the most of them. Among his points:

  • It’s time to stop arguing about print first or digital first and start focusing on our readers.
  • The more we know about our audience, the more we are able to charge for advertising.
  • Paywalls are here to stay (and struggle).
  • News will have to go to readers – they don’t have to come to us.
  • Web video offers a possible way forward. Readers want to consume web video. “The greatest thing about video is that it is the first time the advertising travels with the content – the more you can do that, the better it is for the business side,” he said.
  • Mobile might be a threat or an opportunity, but it is journalism’s reality. More and more people are consuming news on mobile devices every day.
  • Great journalism still matters, but how readers experience that journalism will matter more. We need to focus on creating a great experience for readers because the advantage we have with unique content has greatly shrunk, Narisetti said.
  • Good and bad experiences all come at the same intersection of content and technology, Narisetti said and pointed out that in 2013 and going forward, the real challenge is going to be about combining our journalists and our developers.
  • Newsrooms now face a new competitor: Our advertisers – what is happening is smart brands and smart advertisers are becoming smart storytellers. “We have always had competition for our reader’s time, but this is a double-hit: you lose the readers and the advertisers,” he said.

Newsroom Summit continues on Wednesday in Berlin. Click here for the full programme.

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