PressReader @ TED Break­ing (the) news: Now what?

The Insider - - CONTENTS -

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 by­sider/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

Judges’ Com­ments

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.

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