News & Opinion

David Dinsmore: "Newsbrands are the core of the nation's democratic conversation everyday"

Gathering at News UK's offices for Press Gazette's Digital Journalism Summit, speakers from media owners, agencies and social media platforms discussed newsbrands' role in the digital eco-system.

Opening the event, News UK's chief operating officer David Dinsmore said that "newsbrands are the core of the nation's democratic conversation everyday" and pointed out that two thirds of total daily spend on news comes from newsbrands.

Yet, while "news is the fuel that makes the social world go round", there are clear challenges when it comes to newsbrands' revenue share and brand recognition on social media platforms. As Dinsmore put it: "News gatherers are spending all the money digging up the news; social media platforms are extracting nearly all the revenue from it... the terrifying prospect of not sorting out this broken relationship is a world where edited, verified news ceases to exist unless funded by that state. The verified news fuel for platforms will disappear and put at risk the rivers of gold currently flowing their way."

He concluded: "We have arrived at a moment in time, and it's not an exaggeration to say that where we go from here will shape our democracy and society. We will either forge a genuine, mutually beneficial partnership between news gatherers and platforms or we will watch as the news becomes ever more fake and public faith in democracy collapses."

From social media to creative ad solutions and online monetisation, here's what speakers including m/Six's Alistair MacCallum, The Times' Chris Duncan, The Telegraph's Robert Bridge, the Guardian's Daniel Spears, Google's Madhav Chinnappa and Facebook's Patrick Walker said:

"Publishers need to get control over their supply chain and that's where we need to be more careful in who we work with and on what basis." 
Daniel Spears, director of programmatic, Guardian News and Media

"Cutting through the noise on social and being a trusted source on social is really important"
Alison Gow, digital editor, Trinity Mirror regionals

"I think there needs to be a serious conversation and Google and Facebook really need much more to come to the table about the economic problem. Otherwise, as David said right at the beginning, we aren’t going to have the newspapers or the diversity of newspapers in the future that we enjoy now."
Henry Faure Walker, chief executive, Newsquest

"We want to be part of the solution. Google has grown up as a company, we've just celebrated our 19th birthday so we're coming out of our immature teenage years where our approach before wasn't working for the news side." 
Madhav Chinnappa, director of news partnerships, Google UK

"We need to do more on the direct monetisation side of things."
Patrick Walker, head of media partnerships, Facebook

"Trading is challenging but it highlights the importance of partnerships... newsrooms do understand that we need to have close working partnerships with our advertising colleagues." 
Alison Gow, digital editor, Trinity Mirror regionals

"It's about content solutions as much as it is about display. Embrace change and be brave is the best advice I can give you."
Ali McCallum, chief executive, m/SIX

"We need to be more optimistic about the future. We need to look at our customer data and understand it better." 
Robert Bridge, chief customer officer, Telegraph Media Group

"Relevance, relevance, relevance – every decision, KPI, editorial tweak you make, you need to ask what is the purpose of its relevance to the audience. If it's random don’t do it." 
Douglas McCabe, CEO and director of publishing and tech, Enders Analysis

"We have lost the value of context. People don't understand the scale of newsbrands and the quality context they can offer."  
Ali McCallum, chief executive, m/SIX

"News has never been more popular, the need for quality has never been more accepted and today's talks have never happened with more conviction. We should be excited about the future... [for hundreds of years] we’ve continually reinvented how we make money. This is just another period where we will work out how to make money."
Chris Duncan, managing director, Times Newspapers

Lydia O'Neill 23/10/17

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