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Newsroom culture change: Beating the blockers

Slides from my presentation to WAN IFRA's 13th International Newsroom Summit on the theme of changing the culture of a newsroom and overcoming blockers to change. http://blog.wan-ifra.org/2014/10/13/how-do-you-overcome-newsroom-culture-blockers-answers-at-the-international-newsroom-summi

1 von 11
Slides for WAN IFRA 
Newsroom Summit panel 
on culture change 
October 13 2014
Planet Internet, 2008 
● Alive with discovery and exploration 
● Home to nearly 187m websites - 31.5m of which sprang 
to life in that year 
● 133m blogs, and 900,000 new posts published every 
day 
● 100m active Facebook users 
● More than 3m tweets sent every day 
● More than 3m photos on Flickr 
● 15 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every 
minute of the day in 2008
Planet Newsroom, 2008 
● Focused on a single platform 
● Working towards rigidly set deadlines 
● Enslaved to historic design, production and distribution 
methods 
● Holding back news to fit a schedule, or page space 
● Watching company revenue charts dive floor wards 
● Sending reporters to sit in court ALL DAY to file a 350 word 
lead, published the next day... 
● …oblivious as to how many people read said court report 
● Believing print is king, while fact-checking via Google
Newsroom culture change: Beating the blockers
The fact we still discuss whether print 
and digital need to slug it out for 
supremacy is a blocker for change; it 
means we are still only thinking in terms 
of platforms, not audience and user 
demands. 
We have to get past this - and fast
Beating the blockers 
● Build your business around a digital-first, audience-foremost newsroom 
● Provide engaging content, when your audience wants it 
● Be accessible - operationally, via platforms and culturally in how you 
engage and interact 
● Experiment, collaborate, innovate 
● Be committed to engagement with communities 
● Understand and anticipate what audience demands 
● Embrace social media - it’s your communication system, newswire, 
distribution platform, contacts book, playground. Also your judge and jury 
● Innovation is not restricted to the newsroom - what’s your system for 
managing ideas?

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Newsroom culture change: Beating the blockers

  • 1. Slides for WAN IFRA Newsroom Summit panel on culture change October 13 2014
  • 2. Planet Internet, 2008 ● Alive with discovery and exploration ● Home to nearly 187m websites - 31.5m of which sprang to life in that year ● 133m blogs, and 900,000 new posts published every day ● 100m active Facebook users ● More than 3m tweets sent every day ● More than 3m photos on Flickr ● 15 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day in 2008
  • 3. Planet Newsroom, 2008 ● Focused on a single platform ● Working towards rigidly set deadlines ● Enslaved to historic design, production and distribution methods ● Holding back news to fit a schedule, or page space ● Watching company revenue charts dive floor wards ● Sending reporters to sit in court ALL DAY to file a 350 word lead, published the next day... ● …oblivious as to how many people read said court report ● Believing print is king, while fact-checking via Google
  • 5. The fact we still discuss whether print and digital need to slug it out for supremacy is a blocker for change; it means we are still only thinking in terms of platforms, not audience and user demands. We have to get past this - and fast
  • 6. Beating the blockers ● Build your business around a digital-first, audience-foremost newsroom ● Provide engaging content, when your audience wants it ● Be accessible - operationally, via platforms and culturally in how you engage and interact ● Experiment, collaborate, innovate ● Be committed to engagement with communities ● Understand and anticipate what audience demands ● Embrace social media - it’s your communication system, newswire, distribution platform, contacts book, playground. Also your judge and jury ● Innovation is not restricted to the newsroom - what’s your system for managing ideas?
  • 8. Trinity Mirror’s Newsroom 3.1 model Workflows built around audience data Multi-platform: Print, desktop, mobile web, app, tablet, e-newsletter, social media Digital-first, and responsive No deadline - only audience spikes and streams Deeply informed by analytics Allowed to fail - with an understanding we learn from failure When it comes to audience we want local - although it’s great that we also have global reach with our brands - we want retained, and we want engaged. These are not mutually exclusive goals.
  • 10. Quick wins for newsroom leaders ● Positive results win hearts and minds better than any explanation of strategy ● Share the knowledge - training is the lifeblood of a digital newsroom and no one should feel left behind ● Put real-time analytics at the heart of the newsroom ● Know the audience spikes - staff accordingly ● Ensure your newsroom knows an active, engaging social media presence expected, not requested ● If something doesn’t work, learn from it, move on ● Be the biggest exponent of digital in your newsroom ● Smash any lingering ‘them and us’ mentality between digital and print teams
  • 11. Alison Gow Editor, Digital Innovation Trinity Mirror Regionals Twitter: @alisongow