The future of news + mobile audiences

Among the list of topical issues having to do with journalism, of particular interest to me is how news is being consumed and the future of news.

So when I read about Yusuf Omar’s talk at the Global Media Forum (a conference I was invited to but unfortunately couldn’t attend) in Bonn last week, it really resonated with me.

I, too, am a firm believer that more and more, people are no longer getting their news from traditional formats like newspapers or TV broadcasts. I also happen to be one of these people.

The very notion of sitting down to watch the news at a set time either broadcast on TV or live streamed on a laptop seems, well, ancient.

This might explain why I hadn’t done as well as I could have in an interview I had a few months ago with a local broadcaster based in Toronto. In preparation for the interview, I had to do something I hadn’t done in over 20 years. I had to set aside time to watch their 5-7pm nightly newscast.

And the experience was not enjoyable, in all honesty. I felt they struggled to fill two hours’ worth of broadcast time with meaningful stories. More importantly, though, it was inconvenient. I’d much rather get news when I want, how I want.

It was ultimately hard to be convincing and enthusiastic about joining a media outlet that’s turning a blind eye to the needs of modern, mobile audiences. It made me question whether I really wanted to work there and if I’d be a good fit for the company.

Don’t get me wrong. I know TV hasn’t fully died out just yet. But I’m sure that rethinking how news is being consumed right now will benefit this broadcaster in addition to so many other media outlets out there.

Here’s a podcast worth listening to that takes a closer look at the digital strategies – or lack, thereof – of legacy news organizations in Canada: Is The News Biz a Lost Cause?

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