From Reuters.com

A future for news

By Devin Wenig
December 14, 2010
A Future for News Devin Wenig CEO, Thomson Reuters Markets Much of the last few years have been spent discussing how journalism will survive in the face of the immense changes taking place in the industry.  The digital revolution, the shift in advertising based business models and the explosion of content sources has turned the consuming, dissemination and publishing of news on its head. But the debate has shifted from will it survive to how will it survive?  How will media organizations deliver value while adapting to consumers new demands and capabilities, which will only continue to change? Blaming Google for disrupting the advertising market or waiting for the iPad to replicate offline content are not strategies. Overcapacity and commoditization are not the most popular industry topics to discuss. But look at any news aggregation site and the thousands of stories about any given current event that have little or no differentiation and it’s self evident. When local markets were walled off and self sustainable, there was room for this level of duplication. In the age of information ubiquity, there is not. News organizations need a horizontal platform. They need a broad, fast and fact-based news capability. The only economic model that makes sense is a shared industry capability. However, no single news provider can provide all the requirements in a rapidly shifting and dynamic markets for current awareness. Thomson Reuters is investing heavily in news.  We believe that our history, brand and broad capability give us an excellent starting position to build that industry platform.  We will supplement our unique offering with investments such as the one announced today to support our US and global media business with deep US content.  Additionally, because we know that we will never be able to satisfy all of the industry’s needs, we’ll also provide a platform so that sources can monetize their news and content through our distribution channels. That marriage will make the industry more efficient while freeing up journalists to focus on really adding value for their customers. Where is that value? In vertical content and in true digital innovation. Vertical, valuable journalism is ultimately about expertise and about connecting the dots. It can be based on an editorial voice, a point of view or a set of common interests. While profit pools have been eroded in general news, they have gathered in vertical markets such as corporate industry news and deep expertise in topics of interest such as sports, politics, weather and many other niches.  Editors in these verticals generally have a distinct editorial voice and deep connection to the producers and the consumers of newsflow. When journalism at this level really connects, it can reflect or even create a “virtual community.” For Thomson Reuters, vertical content means the world’s deepest, fastest and most relevant news for professionals. Our editorial goal is to be indispensable to our customers. High value added journalism is critical, but technology and content are now inseparable, if they ever were.  The ability to create utility, collaborate, moderate and build exciting shared user experiences has never been greater. It means recognizing that the expectations of individuals who have grown up in the age of search, multimedia, and mobility is just different. There is no single model of innovation and no magic formula. But it’s clear that experiences based only on linear text will be a challenge for media organizations looking to meaningfully connect with media consumers. Great journalism still matters and is as valued as it has ever been, but that alone is not the end of the discussion. Returns will accrue to those who rethink the user experience rather than replicating it. Thomson Reuters is investing heavily in its product line and has launched major new innovations this year to create intuitive, engaging and adaptable services which push the limits of interaction with news and information. In a media world moving as fast as the present one, it’s easy to get caught up in the flavor of the day.  But playing the long game in news is the best way to sustain valuable journalism and create a viable business model that resonates and adds value to consumers.

Devin Wenig is CEO, Thomson Reuters Markets

Most popular videos of 2010

December 10, 2010

From the iPad to a bus siege in Manila to top model gaffes and bejeweled bras, 2010 was an eventful year. Reuters videographers were on the scene at many of these major stories to bring viewers the latest news, often at great risk to themselves as seen by the tragic death of a Reuters cameraman in Thailand.  Their work, sometimes daring, sometimes fun, prompted our audience to click and share. Here’s a look at the most popular video from each month.

from For the Record:

Toward a more thoughtful conversation on stories

September 27, 2010

Visitors to this space may recall that I wrote this summer about the issues Reuters and other news organizations face in dealing with reader comments on stories.

from Reuters Editors:

Link economy and journalism

By Chris Ahearn
July 23, 2010

chris_ahearnThe following is a guest column by Chris Ahearn, President, Media at Thomson Reuters.

How have you been affected by the volcanic ash?

April 19, 2010

From the fruit you eat, to the sports you watch, the impact of the volcano flight shutdown has hit all facets of life. The ash cloud has stranded millions but has also hit the industries whose products consumers rely on.

from Mario Di Simine:

Winners and losers on the Forbes Fictional 15

April 15, 2010

An actor dressed as Darth Vader passes in front of a model of Jabba the Hutt during the Star Wars Celebration Europe exhibition at the Excel Centre in London July 13, 2007. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN)It’s always good to see a venerable business mag can also have a sense of humor.

What do you want to see in a passenger bill of rights?

April 7, 2010

northwestairline To the roaring cheers of jilted airline passengers everywhere, new rules to protect travelers will take effect on April 29.

Gregg Easterbrook debuts as columnist on Reuters.com

By Reuters Staff
April 1, 2010

Easterbrook-001Reuters today announced the hire of distinguished journalist, author and lecturer Gregg Easterbrook as a columnist for Reuters.com.  Easterbrook, whose weekly column debuts on Reuters.com today, will write on topics ranging from economics and politics to science and technology.

Go ahead, make his day: Best of the week

March 26, 2010

Maybe it’s the recession, but groceries were a big hit with readers this week. The smackdown king of popularity, however, was no doubt President Obama and his healthcare law, stories for which dominated our most-read figures. Here are the week’s most popular tales.

Factbox: Where to find auto service bulletins

March 25, 2010

DETROIT (Reuters) – Automakers provide notice of recalls involving cars, SUVs or pickup trucks to their owners, but drivers may not know whether their vehicles are covered by one of the thousands of “technical service bulletins” filed each year with U.S. safety regulators or where to find them.