Embracing Technology Key to Stay Atop for the Media Industry
Date: Friday , December 30, 2016
Headquartered in the U.S., Quintype is a data-driven publishing platform for the mobile-first world. The entity provides seamless, end-to-end SaaS to manage all aspects of a modern online media operation.
Digital revolution has taken the business world by storm. It has made its presence felt across sections. Digitization of processes has forced businesses to rethink their business models to survive in the new world. The media industry was amongst those that felt the tremors of this transformation as early as the late 90\'s. Whilst the industry accepted the emergence of digital technologies, the bottom just fell out from a revenue perspective. As publications moved from print to digital, the advertising revenues plummeted & subscriptions became increasingly harder to sell given the abundance of free content on the internet.
Between March 2006 and September 2014, the number of newsroom jobs fell by 33 percent, according to the Pew Research Center and daily and weekly newspapers shuttered their doors with increasing frequency. This unexpected advent of technology proved costly for many journalists with many deciding to continue their careers in a different industry like PR or corporate communications or freelancing for multiple publications, to make ends meet. As for the ones willing to brave the modern technology there are a few challenges to overcome with the help of technology.
Gathering Real Time News
Citizen journalism initiatives coupled with a heightened sense of civic sensitivity - have lent a voice to the common man on the street. Social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have broken the stranglehold that traditional media had over distribution - and can make the common man an instant celebrity for breaking news. It\'s evident that smartphones here play a dual role for the journalists - as a friend and a foe. \'Trend\' is the buzz word in the industry now and it is essential to keep a watch on stories or news that are trending. Tools like Buzzsumo, Feedly and Newswhip Spike allow busy journalists to check which topics are trending where and what time, and use analytics to assess the strength of a potential story in real time.
Vikas Shukla, former journalist & Co-Founder of Education publication Quantov writes: \'As a busy journalist you need to stay one step ahead of trends. There is no point spending hours each day reading the leading papers to see what the top stories are. You need to use technology to push you in the right direction, so it\'s your story on the front page. I use Buzzsumo to find the trending topics, analyse content, and find influencers in my niche\'.
The digital era has simplified the task of recording news by enabling the journalists to record the event and share them live with the consumers. The new technology has also helped connect journalists and people giving way or exchange of news, media and comments when required. Apps such as Periscope and WhatUSee allow journalists who cannot make it in person, connect with users who can send photos and videos live from the scene.
While the technology has certainly brought people closer, it comes with an organizational challenge for the media house. With the number of news desks diminishing at a faster pace, most of the editors have freelancers or remote writers who are placed at various geographical areas with different time zones.
For a media house to function successfully, it is significant for writers to communicate with each other for suggestions, and ideas as well as with the editors for timelines, edit and feedback. As a result, many remote teams are turning to tools such as Slack and Google chat to take up the strain.
Organizing the workflow is an important aspect for any efficient publication. Timing is crucial in the digital era as a miss of deadline can make your story redundant. As a result, editors and journalists use a range of new tools to organize their workflow, assign tasks and manage deadlines. CRM/Project Management tools like Slack, Trello, Kanban Flow, Google calendar, Contently and Basecamp add a visual element which allows editors and writers to keep up to date with the progress of different tasks, monitor deadlines, and save notes and drafts on a central database, so that other colleagues can access them if need be.
The diminishing size of newsrooms does not certainly indicate any decline in the number of stories to be covered. More advancement in technology, more the number of stories and journalists need to receive real time information on new stories to stay afloat and survive efficiently in this competitive industry. With technology, instead of spending time listening to long video or audio excerpts to gather quotes, journalists and editors can turn to tools such as Cogi to cut the exact information they need from large files. Others turn to online transcription services to get the information they need on paper when in a bind.
With most of the consumers depending on the digital media for real time news, the media landscape has certainly undergone a massive shift; but with every cloud comes a silver lining. While citizen journalists did emerge with the advancement in smartphones, on the flip side, they have also become an all-in-one Swiss army knife for journalists in the field.