Nic Newman, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Friday, January 29, 2016
Nic Newman is a former senior BBC News executive and the lead author of the annual Digital News Report published by the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford. Nic also produces a must read predictions report every year. He was a founding member of the BBC News Website, leading international coverage as World Editor (1997-2001), and later head of product for BBC News.
His 2016 report, which was published earlier this month, highlights the rise of robo-journalists, an ongoing battle between publishers and adblockers, bendy smartphones and the role of social media in the workplace; alongside findings from a survey of 130 senior news executives across 25 countries.
These industry leaders are “worrying about digital revenues in a world increasingly affected by ad-blocking and the rise of distributed content,” Newman says, but “they are also keeping one eye on the future with plans for online video, new immersive storytelling and Virtual Reality.”
Industry priorities for 2016
- Investment in video: 79% of digital leaders said they would be investing more in online video – including 360-degree footage, livestreaming vertical video and virtual reality during 2016.
- Engagement: 54% of publishers say that deepening online engagement of audiences is a top priority for the year ahead, with 41% favouring greater reach.
- Data: More than three-quarters of respondents said it is very important for them to improve their use of data in the newsroom in 2016.
- Netflix: will continue to grow in importance. This year it will invest over $6 billion dollars (£4.1 billion) in content creation and acquisition rights.
- Advertising: is driving a huge demand for more online video. Online video will grow 14x in the next five years and account for 70% of mobile traffic, with more native distribution opportunities within platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, continuing to emerge.
- Live streaming apps become the new 24hr-news: The report predicts, “all breaking news events will be covered with LIVE video – from multiple angles and in high definition.”
The need for agility and cultural change is also highlighted.
Walls between product, commercial and editorial will continue to be reviewed and/or broken down, as cross-functional teams emerge. Respondents told the Reuters Institute:
The key challenge is… “Breaking down the walls between departments. On one side, the walls between technology, business and editorial. On the other side, the newsroom-internal ones: The walls between video, data, text, infographics, multimedia”
Anita Zielina, Editor-in-Chief New Products, NZZ
New tools such as Slack and HipChat are helping to bring down these walls.
“This tool [Slack] has completely changed how my teams interact with each other, and has had a similar effect in the newsroom – completely through organic adoption rather than any specific concerted effort”
Other important predictions featured in the report include the loss of faith in online advertising due to ad-fraud; the emergence of automated journalism with job losses in the newsroom a likely consequence; the continued rise of messaging apps and moves to speed up the mobile web.
Read more in the full report.