Panels taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday discussed how publishers’ editorial and commercial teams are taking advantage of digital innovations
With his team developing ever more ways to reach news consumers beyond the written word, The Independent’s head of multimedia Tom Richell spoke about the increasing importance of video in the news brand’s storytelling.
Richell explained how Independent TV was enabling journalism to be shared and consumed in new ways for digital users without taking away from written reporting. “I haven’t seen any evidence of any compromise at all”, he said.
He also pointed to the commercial opportunities of video and the continued growth of the news brand’s video production department as evidence of video’s increased importance for The Independent.
In addition, Richell was also asked about the role of news brands alongside digital influencers such as Joe Rogan that court controversy for providing misleading information on their platforms.
He said that the presence of such misinformation posed an opportunity for news brands to continue to create good journalism and remain “on the right side of history”, adding that “sensible voices” will be the ones that last in the long run.
Owen Meredith, chief executive of the News Media Association, echoed these thoughts in his panel on the opportunities of media regulation. Mentioning the current conflict in Ukraine and the easily accessible misinformation surrounding it, he said: “I think that journalism is critical to our democratic society.”
Elsewhere, Pedro Cosa, News UK’s general manager, data, spoke about the editorial and commercial opportunities data holds in ensuring news brands harness the power of digital transformation.
He advocated for the demystification of data for teams less comfortable with using it to complement their work as well as ensuring data is used to supplement strategies and decision-making instead of as the foundations of the business itself.
Cosa also commented on the impending demise of cookies. With news brands able to build audiences based on data from their wide-reaching online readership, “first-party data and engagement with our customers is the way to go”, he said.
However, Cosa also pointed out volume was not always preferable to value on digital platforms, with data an opportunity to cultivate strong engagement with the brand’s most active readers.