Digital-first is transforming news gathering strategies for the UK’s ‘Guardian’, special projects editor – and ‘reporter of the year’ – Paul Lewis told an Atex symposium last week.
Lewis, who gained 35,000 extra Twitter followers during the London riots last year, showed how journalists could harness modern technologies and new funding models for ‘collaborative reporting’.
“So many world events are now live reported through Twitter, leaving behind a digital footprint,” he says. “Twitter users provided a live news feed during the London riots – these users are actually doing journalism”.
The two-day Atex event was held on the historic Beaumont Estate outside London, with more than 200 delegates attending from 100 companies worldwide.
The ‘digital first’ theme had earlier been explored by global product management chief Peter Marsh, examining the impact of the strategy on media industry business models, the transformation of news and advertising products, and results to date.
There were industry parallels too, from business and motivational speaker and Formula One expert Mark Gallagher: “Being brave and working the pedals is no longer enough”, he says. “Drivers now have to grasp multi-platform, multimedia interfaces.
“Just as 25 years ago, newspapers could simply post copy to print, and now they must handle multimedia content across multiple platforms”.
From industry analysts Gartner and Forrester, research director Stephen Powers led a debate on content: “To me, content is still king, but people need to think about how it’s managed,” he says. And Mick MacComascaigh, research vice president at Gartner argued that content was not enough: “The customer is king. It’s important to determine the right content experience for each persona. Media companies should take a cross-channel rather than multi-channel approach”.