Klaus Meier: Innovating the Newsroom - Content Strategy Forum 2014



so good morning everybody hi sorry for the delay but now we can start my name is Klaus Meyer i'm professor of journalism studies and journalism research at the Catholic University of I state and this is also my focus i have on this topic today it's more journalism research than research in corporate communications but my plan is that we can discuss after the presentation and draw conclusions also for your situation in in your agency or in your department my plan is a presentation of 20 minutes and then we can discuss 10 to 20 minutes in the printed program I have seen that there is only 20 minutes stands so if you have time enough we can talk afterwards as well in a waiting the newsroom is is the topic and I want to show you the topic of newsroom convergence as an innovator as innovating the newsroom and convergence means working for different platforms working for different channels out of one integrated team or out of one newsroom do we have separated teams for the different channels or do we have one integrated team for the channels this is one of the key questions we were dealing with conversions in newsrooms so we can see that convergence is an ongoing process as you all know and changing the needle landscapes but the traditional media houses the traditional print newsrooms are dealing very very hard with convergence because they have to a tradition only working for printing now since several years they have the challenge to work to work also for different digital platforms our study was an international transnational research with partners in spain and austria and we looked at three selected newspaper newsrooms in these countries and we also did this study five years before as a pilot study and there we found out that we can see the convergence process in the newsroom depends on different factors and all these different factors we withdraw it in a matrix and this is the aim of the presentation I want you to show in the matrix what are the factors we have to deal with in a convergence process in the newsroom now in this new study we confirm the matrix and we enriched it with new descriptors and factors in the last months and years so the case studies are and also the convergence descriptors are in the focus of the presentation our research project started in 2008 and then we we optimized it in the last year and we looked at the end if we look at the literature and the theory of convergence of newsrooms you always can find advocates which say let converging and Hanson's quality and also you can find critics they say that convergence is a threats to quality and you can see the arguments here on this slide of both sides and you in every newsroom normally you have these both sides of the debate this is the theoretical Erie where we come from so we can see that newsroom convergence is always an enhancement of quality or it's always a threat to quality it depends on the cases we look at we made to k-state the first study we made two case studies in every country I can I will first show you these case studies were with the newspapers in Spain in elmont with el mundo el aware that in Germany with deven and a high in our which is Hesse she need a sexy I'll give my name castle and in Austria we had other paper they are standard and and restoration and this is our model we had at the end three types of different newsroom convergence ideas if we start with a case of the coordination of isolated platforms convergence is not seen as an advantage and all the news rooms for the different platforms are separated so you also use autonomous content management systems for for every single platform the cross media model means that convergence is seen as a tool in this editorial process you still use different newsrooms for the different platforms or different working units but they are interconnected by coordinators in Germany we often call it news desk or desk where this connection plays a main role or we all we also could call this person's multi media coordinators the journal is still our specialists for the platforms but cooperation and multis killing is supported through these coordinators and also through the concept convergence as a tool case by case the full integration model means that strategy as that convergence is a strategy and the aim and the aim at the end and all the frame the architecture the infrastructure of a newsroom is for the enhancement of convergence so you have centralized newsroom and workflow management for all platform in one newsroom you have a high degree of Maltese killing of the journalists now in the newer study we looked only at these three newspapers because they were the most interesting papers in the last five years in their convergence process we had 12 in-depth interviews there in the news rooms and these are the questions we followed in in our study so how did the model of convergence evolved in the last year's and how the journalists adopt the requirements of convergence and also which essential areas and newer descriptors could be identified in the case of conversions the first case el mundo in Madrid is the newspaper founded in the 1980s and they started with the integration process in 2007 with a new building and an also in large open-plan newsroom convergence was implemented in all sections in 2009 and now printed on longest online is grouped together in the sections like health education politics media and sports and also the differences of labor contracts disappeared so online journalists a former online journalism former print journalists now have the same contracts in Germany ad welt had different steps of convergence in 2006 they moved to a newsroom in the spring a building in Berlin it looked like this and with about 50 to 60 workplaces their desks there and then they also merged with original with regional papers with bell in modern post end with hamburger and blood so these papers were also delivered out of these newsrooms there was a d merging in in this year these papers were sold from Springer so now they only work for the weld group for the normal paper de Velde for a smaller weld compact for the weekly paper well thumbs on tuck and also of course for the difference digital platforms and they introduced a new business model a metered paywall for all digital outlets that is what is behind off the newsroom strategy and they also introduced the new content management system what they also call a virtual newsroom where every platform is internet implemented I have a short video with the editor-in-chief it's in it's in German language but if you do not speak German you also can see the surrounding and think it's interesting for you as well so let's look from financed item sides modern a newsroom debate couple in Baldia Jane had in ballina Axel Springer house in Spanish lesson d askim colleague Abaddon Hebrides Roberts apply for Venetia in norm of a person buddy comunicazione and his new home feel free passes iron rod alla de abajo and i love the sewers ality Tecopa when Indy zoom home alberton on midnight innervation we hadn't caused permanent another doc Jones confidence am indeed side deviate dark VIN when we in quality din vestian all best ave ad instead mere paas even though does cradle the chef characters yanira greatest psyched as hatched up dis newsrooms so thus is thus alga just newsrooms on the sent home from them as a la te gustó at we had a zone is not a sticky Toliver's but once am sent home dead zone an au decide on who your history button Reuters does wound on esta saga he is it to mine nimish director hinder a bleak in indie sensation around links name near the online pillow Tania's OD homepage storian done wonders no I'm dig it holla out director of infographic built verdict soon does video team on social media expert senti rectum xoogan aunt an auger for treating the newsroom had dragged finish cotton es de Guiche finish card is here dusty khattala the skating with real time as well a life-taker from Sporto I nison bundestag smile on zebeta zizzi Stan thought burns and hugs item via Fofana naughty motto online to print the highest V&V negotiation furious dig it holla don't has bested a fund an hour's evidently or no in deeds item that forgets an extra print team when fleas leisure rates in the delegation ish high dividends on da dee Una's from tignonville tanana's from sue yen most advanced item it excludes even in heightened a fine thousand quadrat medicine viad may assign hundred meter by Tibetan at a staff lee been dishonest afghan of mine be seen Hector sauna wake up in fo gangland recession and feel newsrooms car but it on advice does astonish heard a loud world son das matters if a new fish are biting countries and childhoods when the captors but we got in on some Alton kleiner a newsroom infras Alice Madonna we visit to Oscar started Vivian social intervention in the pervert indiscretions women canada misurata in were brainstorming one cigar and house diagne garden had some concepts does not newsrooms debate open so what we can see is that there are two main points in this newsroom the first main point is that they introduced the paywall and if you introduce a payable in journalism you have to put all the best stories in the digital platforms and then at the end of the day you can make a print edition out of these stories and this is what they changed and what they say is a digital to print strategy so the whole newsroom is first walking working for the digital platforms and then at the end of the day the printed editions are produced the third newspaper we looked at was the standard in win under standard is interesting because they are the most successful internet pioneers in journalism in in in austria since 2000 sir 95 and they always worked in separate buildings and they always had a separate newsroom for online with no connection between print and online and they were very successful with it with this model but then another strategy came up and the publisher said we have to put these operations together because we can't afford the staff for two platforms they have to work together and then they moved into a new building one in and a half years ago and now it's a really open plan building with print and online on separate floors but with the management decision of a fast forward integration in in all sectors it is unclear and right now until now in its details there were task force is created and they are trying hard but it's not that easy if you have two separate teams and if they are really successful in online then they earn online more money than in print so this is really a challenge to bring these teams together now what we learned out of these case studies we put all the experiences together to our matrix ends to to our key questions what is changing when you do really convergence projects in a newsroom the first question is do the market situation and decisions on your business models influence the editorial convergence process and this is clear that if you have a full integration strategy you need a common economic strategy for all platforms and distribution channels and the weld group is one example for this because they say we want to earn money with readers on all platforms this is the strategy of the table if you only have a coordination model you can have that a diversity of strategies and also a diversity of thread of journalistic strategies in the news rooms and the cross media model convergence is an option and normally you do not have a con strategy but if you have case by case and projects you can put it together and you can see if you if you can have a common strategy case by case the second thing is the newsroom organization what is the basic organizational structure of the newsroom and the other question is which role does transparency play with in the newsroom if you look at the first question we can see that in the in the cross media model the collaboration between similar sections is encouraged but it's not obligatory this is obligatory in in the full integration model you have the newsroom clearly organized in sections and all the sections are responsible for all platforms this means that the section heads for example are empowered the question of transparency mean this the fields if their means and in the convergence in the full integration model and a philosophy of open space open conferences and open stories so every journalist should have access to another channel to other journalists research material this is quite the opposite of the philosophy in the coordination model because journalists are seen as authors with their own stories and they wouldn't give away their material to the others journalists in in this model so full integration means also a switch in the heads of the journalists to give them a true real way to do to the other colleagues in in the newsroom now what about workflow and content the two questions are which aim guide the editorial planning and production processes the other question is what is the character of speed and routines and what impact can they have on the quality of the news content now you see a green marked what I want to highlight is that the fall into model means that the topics take center stage in the workflows so all workflows are organized around journalistic topics normally the workflows traditionally the workflows are oriented are organized around platforms so the main question here is in the morning how can we fill our paper how can we fill our site the main question here in the conference at the morning is we have this and that topic or which topics do we have and how can we use these topics how can we our platforms to tell these stories to our readers so one topic could change from one platform to the other or could be the same story in one platform of the others so but always topics are in the center of the workflow if you look at the rhythms and the speed of a newsroom we can see that we have in an integrated newsroom a really high speed level for breaking news but on the other hand if you want to contain quality and normally in these newsrooms we visited it is so you have also at least one team or probably more teams with a staying power for long-term in-depth stories you need exclusive material if you want to earn money online if you have tables and also you need exclusive material for your paper but the exclusive material is not only for the paper it's for all platforms at the end and is published on all platforms so in this model the daily newspaper routines have taken a backseat the online routines are in the center of the newsroom on the other hand the coordination model the traditional model the tradition where we come from is that the speed of newsrooms is strictly split without interfaces and the workflows support the platform again the platform is in the middle of all the philosophies of the newsroom the question of change management of skills and of training is for example does the company see itself involved in a change process and if so is change management supported normally in every business change management is supported if you see yourself in the change process but in journalism we are not used to this so it's an innovation it's a challenge if a newsroom says we need trainings we need change management seminars or we need at least a change management strategy and normally in these full integration models there is such kind of training and such kind of change management at the other on the other hand eye coordination model means that if you have training in the newsroom straining normally is focused on platforms so you have for example special training for SEO for online editors or you have a training courses for traditional research and writing in the print and newsroom and the skills and the training and all what you do with your with your staff is focusing on improving the quality of one specific isolated platform on the other hand the trainings here is always how can we improve the multis killing the working for different platform and all these things now the last questions were about audience participation about social media use facebook and twitter use and these things and there we can really clearly see three different strategies in the first strategy of full integration almost every journalist uses social media in a professional context process journalism is fostered so the forex the journalists tell their stories on Facebook before they publish it on the website they are looking for sources they're there they're communicating with the people there to get more material or to get interesting stories in the cross media model you normally have special social media editors maybe sitting on the news desk sitting on this interconnecting organization unit and the other journalists are encouraged to use social media but it's subject to individual decision in the coordination model social media normally are on departing only challenge and task in the online Department the print journalists hesitate using social media and well it's their own idea if they do it but it's they are not encouraged to do though it's an individual basis also in spreading the content means that the journalists in the integration model all journalists also the former print journalists are encouraged to to spread their stories on on Facebook so at the end we can see what are the new challenges the new developments are the coordination of isolated platform still focuses on enhancing the quality of the specific isolated platform and cross media means that the double structure is sustained but there are developed much more links than five years ago for example the new link of social media editors and the full integration model means that the sections are stronger than before because all channels are handled within the sections the transparency plays more the role in the newsroom so you give away on your material and your stories due to other colleagues and although this idea of two rhythms the fast online taking over the production rhythm but on the other hand long-term research for exclusive stories for all platforms these three papers moved in these five years a little bit el mundo NT well moved to to a full integration model and a standard moved more to across media model but maybe in one or two years they move fast forward to a full integration model what conclusions can we draw out of these case studies we can see that there is again a high percentage of try five years ago was a high percentage of trial and error and now some have learned out of this from several experiences the level of strategic analyzes and also the strategic planning is rising the early adopters of integration models like de Velde for example 2006 they started with integration have remodeled their workflows focused more on the section Lockley logic for example and audience participation of course is becoming a key strategic question in all models five years ago that wasn't a key question at all now at the end what I want to discuss with you good innovative journalistic newsroom models imply for corporate communications which for example means that all platforms you deal with in a corporate communications and all channels are integrated around topics topic teams content teams I often get calls from people from corporate communications which have these questions in mind and they want a solution from our studies or ideas from our study but I always must say well there is i do not know any study out of the world of corporate communications like we did in in journalism newsroom so we do not have experience over one case we just have single cases we can look it and this could be an idea to discuss it right now here if you have any other questions you're welcome so thank you very much




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