The news industry has changed in so many ways over the past decade. Technology has allowed many social media to rise and take over distribution for most outlets. And whether you see that as positive or negative, you now need social media — whether it’s echoes of marketing or branding — in order to be successful.
Reading the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism article this week, I learned what you need to launch a new media project:
- CONTENT or SERVICES: You need to offer something of value to users. In the journalism business, that something has traditionally involved content.
- DISTRIBUTION: You need a way to let users know about what you offer and then deliver it to them.
- PEOPLE: You need someone — and at first that may just be you — to produce and distribute your content.
- REVENUE: You need money to pay for your content, distribution, and people.
All four of these work hand and hand when look at it you need content in order to fill the distribution pipeline, to produce content you need a lot of people because the distribution pipeline in recent years has been maximized. You need revenue to pay people to produce content, meaning all of this basics are equally important as a the other. Lack of people could lead to lack of distribution because you have to distribute within web, social media and print just to name a few channels.
Just writing a story is not enough; you have to be able to market to many different demographics. Many people ages 50 and up still read newspapers but college students would rather watch a two-minute video that summarizes the story and read the article later. You will only know this if you put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Even though you may have considered your audience there are several other things you have to consider.
What I found very useful while our team looks at how to improve a campus news organization is the social media strategy that Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism discusses.
Social media has changed the production, distribution and consummation of news and has become sort of a disruptor. According to Pew Research Center, today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. Take this into consideration use these new powerful open networks to drive traffic and engagement to maximize revenues.
While Tow-Knight’s article states you have to consider your strengths and weaknesses, one weakness that cannot be accounted for is trust. Many of us have fail victim to looking at, “fake news,” especially with the fluidity that things are published and receive views. With social media being able to trust is very perplex. Ken Doctor questions the values and the accountability that journalists are being held at.
While there are so many ideas that can create and change the news industry is it really for the better, Doctor explains that in the 21st century values are unclear. Whether single-source stories, or many believing certain news is not worth their time, values are very unclear and disruptors and ethics are to blame.
A startup is very plausible but along the way do not forget our core principles.
Seek truth and report it. Minimize harm. Act independently. Be accountable and transparent.