Disruption to the news media is not about technology

Disruption to the news media is not about technology


Disruption in the media world is not about the technology or even the business model.

Rather it’s the clash between living in a world of information abundance and having only a finite amount of time to pay it attention.

Jacqui Park, journalist, media strategist and social entrepreneur, has just released the News Media Innovation 2020 report published by the Centre for Media Transition at UTS.

“Disruption and innovation is the call and response of the modern world,” she writes.

“News media is caught shuttling helter-skelter from one to the other, attempting to juggle the impact of disruption while innovating to create a new media ecosystem. It’s hard and exhausting work.”

But disruption is not a matter of having to deal with new technological tools or the platform-based internet, she says.

“The disruption of news media lies in the abrupt turnabout in the information and the attention economies,” says Park.

“Previously, information – and access to information – was relatively scarce. It could be corralled, packaged and sold.

“But now, information is everywhere. It strains to be free, to be ubiquitous. And where supply is effectively infinite, demand for each individual unit falls.” 

Parks says diverse ecosystem is emerging, made up of traditional players, start-up media, public broadcasting and global players seeking a local footprint. 

Parks’ takeaways:

  1. Disruption of news media has come from outside. Innovation is about remaking news media from
  2. the inside.
  3. The disruption is not about the technology. It’s not even about the business model. It’s about the clash
  4. between living in a world of information abundance and having only a finite amount of time to pay it attention.
  5. Innovation in news media has circled through three overlapping cycles: digital-first publishing, social media distribution and, now, audience-centred publishing.
  6. It has taken these three cycles to understand what is at the core of the disruption challenge: audiences.
  7. Practically, putting audiences at the centre means having a holistic strategy that combines innovation in content, business models, distribution and product.
  8. The case studies in this report reveal how new and established media organisations are placing audiences first.

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