How much do newsrooms focus business model on innovation?

By SAIRA SUMBAL

Let’s say you’re the president of a newspaper organization that was one of the newspapers that survived going digital. In the recent years, you have firsthand seen newspapers go out of business because they didn’t change their business model to cater to the digital age.

Though you’ve successfully transitioned to a digital format, you now have to figure out how you are going to get revenue. Your revenue can most likely come from having readers pay a subscription fee to view information online, or through advertisements. To further the situation, you realize that the format in which people are getting their information is constantly changing.

At a certain point, news organization realized they had to create applications for mobile phones, (ahem, can we say iPhones?).

Other applications were created for additional devices, including iPads. In addition to this, news organizations had to hire social media managers to maintain all their websites — since everyone is on Facebook and Twitter.

However in a world that is constantly evolving, and where a news organizations ability to survive is based off of how well they can match the platforms at which they present information with the ways in which readers are  digesting information, how to deal with constant innovation?

Some would argue that, if a news organization has the fiscal capabilities to do so, it should consistently find ways to “keep up” with new platforms that are emerging. Basically, if X tech company comes up with X new format for people to digest information, that news organization should provide their news in that format.

The latter is that you don’t invest money in presenting news in a new platform that might (a) die out quickly (b) not have enough users, so you are instead investing money in a platform that is costing you more than the ROI. Know your reader — what demographics do they fall into? Because if you’re demographic is young adults, well you might really be on your “a-game” when it comes to innovation. Further, ride it out. Wait until you know the platform is utilized by enough readers to make an investment.

It may possibly be finding a medium where you’re news organization is aware of new innovations, however are selective in which ones are worth utilizing as a platform to offer their services.

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