PressReader @ TED Breaking (the) news: Now what?
In April 2017, PressReader was asked by TED conference organizers to put together a workshop for their attendees on the future of journalism. It was truly an honor to be included in such a prestigious event. We wanted to provide a real challenge to the attendees and decided to host this workshop in the form of a mini-hackathon, to gather insights and solutions from the TED community on such an important topic.
Some 50 senior-level participants came from all walks of life and industry types — technology, business, academia, entertainment, design, and publishing. Although their day-to-day jobs may not have much in common, one thing they shared was the passion for journalism and its future.
Broken into small teams and faced with strict time allocation, they tackled three specific, real-life challenges facing news organizations, came up with potential paths forward, and discussed these solutions with a panel of news industry leaders who mentored the teams throughout the exercise and judged the solutions presented at the end.
The results were quite amazing and it was hard for the judges to pick the winner because there were so many innovative ideas. But in the end, a team led by Philadelphia-based entrepreneur, Bruce Newman, came out on top. Check out the winning pitch for the theme, Trust in Media, and interview with Bruce himself (on page 35) about his role in helping to shape the future of media in the US. Trust in Media Whether it was Brexit or the American Elections, media coverage and polling have continued to miss the mark. As of now, the general public’s trust in media has reached an all-time low. You are a voter. Pitch a viable strategy for publishers to rebuild that trust. Host: David Uberti Depending on the point you look at, “public trust in the media” is at historic low. But at the same time, people’s trust in their media remains high. So, the question for legacy publishers is how to retain that trust and turn it into a more viable business model. And also, for the new publishers, how to establish trust from scratch.
Pitch by Team Six
Hello, my name is Bruce Newman and I’m an entrepreneur from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have a direct interest in our newspapers because our newspapers were bought by http://www.pressreader.com/@The_Insider/csb_1otYwrGL6YIeUUg0pU-0O2CzTgQtmPP8su4qmcGzqnIWfEsbzY9cX19RS8DewqYHhyfn2kH3qYpKmp5DBWuoFg philanthropists, and contributed to the foundation. The continuity of good reporting and investigative journalism underpins our global democracy. Without it, we’ll get nowhere.
So, this question of trust is really important. We decided that one of the things that we could do is increase the transparency of trust, and hope that we can get higher value for a breadth of trust, as opposed to a narrowness of trust. We think that newspapers originally, or media generally, spoke to the fat middle because they wanted to aggregate the largest audience in exchange for the advertisers.
Now they speak to the extreme ends because they want more social sharing. So, the whole concept of trust is extraordinarily disrupted by things being polarized at both ends. What we might not pay attention to when we talk about trust is that there isn’t homogeneity in that.
Liberals trust the media because of that one set of facts, and conservatives don’t trust the media. But when we look at who trusts the media, we don’t look at the difference between those kinds of demographics and psychographics.
If we were on our own websites, be able to expose who was trusting an article by looking at the demographics and psychographics from their IP addresses, and make it transparent who is reading it — whether it’s white people, black people, rich people, poor people, educated people, or uneducated people — over the course of time, as people engage with our articles, we can ask them critical indicator questions that we can attach to them. At the same time, we can ask them critical indicator questions about the content itself. Is this fact or opinion? Do you trust the content, or not? Do you trust the writer or not?
Score (Average of 4 judges’ scores)
Realism / Timeliness: 8.5/10 Business Model / Viability: 8/10 Creativity / Originality: 9.5/10 Total Score: 25.5/30
David Uberti (CJR)
Yeah, that’s a really interesting approach that you have. Where everyone has sort of undergone a lot of introspection critically since the Presidential election. But, I’ve never heard anyone propose using analytics to sort of prism data behind that. So I think that’s a really good way of approaching transparency, and unique from my experience.
Farhan Mohamed (Daily Hive)
This is the first time I’ve heard of something like that. I have no idea how it would go over with readers. [Bruce: It’s a testable proposition].
Yeah, yeah, big time.
Brodie Felon (CBC)
I just love the idea. We have so much intel already on our audience. I love this idea of sharing that with the audience to help them. I look at the metrics we see every day. Let’s just make that available to the audience. It’s fascinating! So, I think you’re off the charts on the creativity.
[Bruce: And what if the metric for rewarding reporting was the breadth of trust?]
Nikolay Malyarov (PressReader)
We often talk about big data. But it’s not big data that matters; it’s smart data and how you are utilizing the data you are already collecting. This is great; I loved it.