A Bangladeshi perspective on media transformation comes from Daily Prothom Alo digital technology manager Q.M. Ashfaq Ali.
Writing in INMA’s product and tech blog, the Dhaka publisher’s senior manager affirms that the future of news media is digital, “and news publishers that can adapt and leverage these technologies will thrive in this rapidly evolving landscape”.
He says the news media industry has had to adapt as technology has transformed the way readers read news, with digital products and technologies playing a significant role in the transformation.
Adapting to this shift has involved investment in robust digital infrastructures that provide a seamless and personalised experience to their audience.
“But what does the future hold for the industry,” he asks.
“Digital products such as websites, mobile apps and social media platforms have become the primary sources of news consumption for a majority of people instead of conventional printed newspapers, radio, and television.
“Adapting to this transformation, news media organisations must provide a well-maintained user experience on websites and mobile apps. This can help news media organisations to deliver news updates in real time, curate content based on user preferences, and offer an immersive multi-media experience.”
Ashfaq Ali says technology has also played a crucial role in enabling news media organisations to innovate and experiment with new content formats. “Virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360-degree video are just a few examples of new technologies that have been used to create engaging and immersive news experiences,” he says. “These technologies allow news media organisations to transport their audience to the scene of the news story, providing a more visceral and impactful experience.”
Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to analyse vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and generate insights that can inform editorial decisions, and to personalise news content based on the user's preferences and browsing history, making the news experience more relevant and engaging.
“The rise of digital products and technologies has also opened up new revenue streams for news media organisations. Advertising remains the primary source of revenue for most news media organisations, but digital products and technologies have enabled new forms of advertising such as programmatic advertising, native advertising, and sponsored content. News media organisations can also monetise their digital products through subscription models, paywalls, and e-commerce.
However, Ashfaq Ali says digital transformation of the news media industry has also created challenges: The rise of social media and user-generated content has led to concerns around the credibility and accuracy of news; news media organisations must also navigate issues around data privacy, fake news, and the role of algorithms in shaping news consumption.
“To address these challenges, news media organisations must invest in robust fact-checking processes and ensure that their content is trustworthy and accurate. They must also provide transparency around how their algorithms curate and prioritise news content, and work toward building trust with their audience.
“News media organisations must continue to innovate and experiment with new technologies while also ensuring they uphold the highest standards of journalistic integrity and ethics. Organisations that can adapt and leverage these technologies will thrive in this rapidly evolving landscape.”