The marriage between technology and journalism brought us back in the game
As the communication medium continues to evolve and the apparent shift of readership from the traditional to the digital persists, it is absolutely needed for those in the print business to adapt to the technological change. Digitalization, as most traditional institutions such as banks have been adopting, has made its way to the news business. And as various multimedia channels now offer information about the latest developments in real time, the old-school newspaper models have to catch up. Enter the online platform.
On its 19th anniversary, Daily Tribune puts the spotlight on its online channels by instituting its own digital campaign to reinstall print media to its former glory, all thanks to a new management.
Among the changes initiated in the past year is the use of digital space to complement the printed version, serving to increase the newspaper’s market reach and allowing it to gain more subscribers and readers.
Daily Tribune’s executive editor Chito Lozada said the concept of “Straight Talk,” a discussion with news sources, such as public officials and celebrities through an online platform, is to address the most burning issues in the country, while offering audiences the convenience to watch and interact with the guests via digital means.
“The use of multimedia was a first for the newspaper since it had stuck to the traditional news format through print for 19 years. It was made possible through its merger with Concept News Central, Inc. which uses technology advances to the hilt,” Lozada said.
“The difference has been remarkable, as many have noted. Daily Tribune now has an active presence on the Internet, which was not true in the past,” he added.
He said this “happy marriage” between technology and journalism brought the broadsheet back in the game, gaining its well-deserved spot among the competition.
Leading the pack for the paper’s advertising and marketing campaigns, Komfie Manalo seconded the idea of the importance of combining modern technology with traditional methods.
“Traditional media needs to integrate online platforms. Readers nowadays also want video content. So, by having ‘Straight Talk,’ we are hoping to capture that market. That will add readership, online subscribers and loyal subscribers to Daily Tribune,” Manalo said.
“These numbers will then translate into revenues as online readership complements print readership, and the industry has to adopt to that because there are more readers online,” he added.
Transitioning towards digital media is not easy. Of course, there will be bumps along the way. Aside from haggling with a guest’s schedule, digital problems remain a challenge for Daily Tribune’s digital team.
“Number one is the Internet. We need at least 20Mbps to 50Mbps. If your Internet provider is slow, then your live video feed will be choppy. That’s just the problem,” Daily Tribune’s digital editor John Henry Dodson said.
Sought for comment if filming the interviews beforehand could help solve the Internet problem, he said doing the interviews live is important.
“It is better done live as we can field questions from the viewers. That’s the advantage. There is an instant reaction. They can comment on the website and we, as moderators, can ask the question,” Dodson explained.
He added that despite being new to the digital space, Daily Tribune has already captured a significant chunk of readers and viewers in the online platform.
“(In terms of readership,) we don’t have a ceiling as we don’t want to limit ourselves. We have to achieve as much as we can,” the newspaper executive said.
“The future that we see in broadcasting is Internetbased. It is no longer terrestrial or radio frequency,” he added.
Into the future
Despite the hurdles it encountered, Daily Tribune is determined to get as many readers and viewers as it can as it continues to develop and sustain its digital asset.
According to Lozada, projects in the pipeline include the setting up of a television-type podcast, as well as covering various subjects and topics, such as sports analysis and political commentaries.
For Manalo, it is a must to bring the newspaper toward other possible sources of readership and subscribers, including the massive population of students in the country.
“We’re planning to have short film competitions for schools and universities, but that is still on the pipeline. And as you can see, our online platform really helped boost and improve our readership,” he said.
“We are now being noticed by subscribers and advertisers. It is difficult to quantify at the moment as we are not monetizing our online platforms yet. There’s a team already working on that in terms of monetizing our online platforms,” he concluded.
“Traditional media needs to integrate online platforms. Readers nowadays also want video content. So, by having ‘Straight Talk,’ we are hoping to capture that market.