chapter 7

 

becoming

future-fit

in media

News and media organizations need to establish new value systems to remain competitive and relevant. In order to shape the future of the media industry and their individual newsrooms, they need to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in response to their audiences.

Key themes: audience relevance, content consumption behavior, trust, digitally-native mindset.

  • Organizations to work cross-functionally.

  • Redefine existing roles and bring in new ones.

  • New lead roles for news and media organizations.

  • Co-creation with audience to become common practice.

GO DEEPER

This is where you get to create a desirable future for your organization and the news and media industry. Think of it as a toolkit to help you map out a future vision, with components from each section applying to different stages of your future growth.

We’ll begin by looking at establishing a strategic vision for three
to five years time and defining which new roles you’ll need to hire, systems to put in place, and workflows to adopt to get there. The immediate steps we have shared earlier, will help in taking the next steps to begin this journey.

We believe there are three key areas to focus the next three to five years on:

1

value systems of

news and media

organization

As a news and media organization moves forward, it will be important for it to establish new value systems to remain competitive and relevant. These values should be designed with its users at the center and allow for flexibility; audiences change, and organizations will seek out new ones. Key themes should be addressed, such as audience relevance, content consumption behavior, trust, a digitally-native mindset, and more.

2

new workflows and

organizational 

design

As our industry moves away from the traditional print-based, distribution-focussed model towards a non-distribution based one, the way in which organizations are structured and the workflows within them will need to change. A clear focus on emerging digital platforms will be an obvious first step as video, VR, and AI become more prevalent. Organizations will need to work more cross-functionally and keep their eyes on user-centricity in everything they do. Team structures will need to be reorganized with digital product management taking more of a lead role and co-creation with the audience will need to become common practice.

3

new

behaviors

In order to achieve customer relevance and create financially stability, news and media organizations will need to adopt new behaviors across their departments, such as:

 

  • Cross-functional collaboration

  • Active audience listening

  • User empathy

  • Triangulation of research methods

  • Data ethics

  • Voicing diversity

  • Engaging with the community

  • Having a product mindset

  • Experimenting

  • Receiving and adapting to user feedback

  • A ‘fail fast to succeed’ mentality

  • A dedicated space for product development and testing

developing

future roles

in media

The news and media landscape has shifted dramatically and as such,
news and media organizations need to redefine existing roles — as well
as bringing in new ones — in order to maintain their ability to bring desirable content to their audience. In this chapter you’ll see a list of roles and their related skill sets that will help set your organization up for future success.

top 5 skills sets:

1. Business Model Innovation Manager
2. Data Interpreter
3. Audience Representative

4. Digital Product Lead
5. Learning Experience Manager

“As more news organizations
do more with less, they must identify ways to fail smarter and prevent past failures from stifling the exploration of new ideas.”

Michael Grant

1. Business Model

Innovation Manager

Job description

 

This role helps to define and maintain new business and revenue models with a clear understanding of how organizations need to function in an ever changing landscape.

 

You’ll understand the need for news and media organizations and have a clear knowledge of best practices across varying digital platforms in order to best determine customer acquisition and revenue streams.

 

As our industry has moved away from distribution- based models, it’s more important than ever for our revenue to come from a digital, user-centric point of view.

 

Excellent presentation and reporting skills are a must as you provide insight and guidance to our executives and senior stakeholders on new business directions.

 

Your day-to-day tasks will involve overseeing innovation projects and liaising with heads of department and executives.

 

You’ll also work with Business Development, Finance and Human Resources to ensure appropriate business model projections are designed, managed, maintained and delivered.

Job description

 

In this role you’ll be fluent in all things data. From having a strong grasp on best methods of data capturing, to a keen ability to turn raw data into actionable user insights that will guide the product team.

 

You’re also fluent in data ethics as you’ll work to inform new products and tech that includes AI, ensuring our algorithm-lead initiatives comply with digital ethical standards both regionally and globally.

 

Above all else, you’ll be an instrumental part of our innovation team by managing collective intelligence — combining tech and data intelligence with user intelligence through field research and workshops — and bridging these worlds for the team.

2. Data Interpreter

3. Audience
Representative

Job description

 

As Audience Representative, your role is to act as the bridge between the newsroom and the outside world.

 

You’ll spend time both in the field conducting user research alongside Data Interpreters, as well as conducting desktop research, ensuring your finger is on the pulse of current topics as well as representing a wide array of voices.

 

Your main responsibility will be to help guide the content and product team by providing reports on audience needs related to content topics.

 

You’ll run co-creation workshops with users to better understand what they find meaningful and relevant.

 

You’ll also highlight how an audience views topics, the depth of their knowledge, and any additional information required as briefs for the content department.

 

You’ll act as a representative for our audience, helping to ensure our initiatives truly resonate with them.

Job description

 

This role helps to define and maintain new business and revenue models with a clear understanding of how organizations need to function in an ever changing landscape.

 

As Digital Product Lead, you’ll be helping to define the vision for new products and content initiatives. You’ll own the overall product direction, from the strategic vision to the end of product life cycle. Throughout the process you’ll have a clear understanding of your user’s needs and translate these into design MVP’s by leading the development team. You’ll engage in user research activities, identify problems and opportunity spaces, and determine a clear path forward through roadmapping, feature definition, and development prioritisation. You’ll have a fluency for all things digital and a strong understanding of best practices across a range of current and emerging platforms — both in a broader sense and at a micro-interaction level. You’ll work alongside Audience Representatives to determine how best to respond to user needs in our content and product initiatives.

4. Digital Product Lead

5. Learning Experience Manager

Job description

 

As Learning Experience Manager, you’ll be reporting directly into the Chief Innovation Officer as well as alongside Human Resources and Finance to coordinate in-house training, workshops, and other activities.

 

You’ll help to identify skill gaps regarding digital nativity, user-centricity, and emerging tech behaviors as well as provide practical support in up-skilling through in-house and external training, managing adaptive learning platforms, and tracking progress through mentoring sessions with all employees.

 

Additionally, you’ll actively seek out external partners, organize schedules for training and workshops, as well as document learning experiences for executive feedback and reports.

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