Is your newsroom ready for the future?

July 1, 2009

On Tuesday, a panel hosted by Reuters and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers discussed the state of the media industry and the challenges it faces from consumers demanding information in new and different ways.

How could the industry transform its newsrooms to thrive in this culture?

Chrystia Freeland of the Financial Times said the key discipline was to constantly ask what the reader actually wants and not what is technologically possible. “This is going to be different for everyone,” Freeland told the crowd, which included Thomson Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger.

For the full discussion, watch the video below.

The panel included
Chrystia Freeland, US managing editor, Financial Times

Larry Ingrassia, business editor, The New York Times

Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs & new media professor, Columbia Journalism School

Laurel Touby, founder & CEO,

Moderated by
Betty Wong, global managing editor, Reuters


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It is a great discussion and I like that the general message is that news sources need to begin asking what people actually want and what particular news sources can provide better than anyone else. Too often recently most major news sources, including especially local news papers, have reverted to mainly providing what I consider “general” news. By this I mean national and international news that is presumed to be of “general” concern. General news, however, can be found anywhere. It is time for journalists to radically reconnect with their audience as particular and local and to seek to address very specific concerns. There are some other great discussions and interviews with and amongst top journalists at  ,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view, category/#catid69 which I have also found useful on these issues.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Some 30-40 years ago I attend a newspaper conference in Houston, and among other things, we listened to a presentation from a consulting firm on reader desires. Then several minutes later two editors told the audience what the readers wanted.Maybe you’re asking the wrong people for a solution.

Posted by Joe Tarrer | Report as abusive