Real Issues of Four Screen Strategy
Journalistic technology is constantly in flux. Every half-decade or so new technology replaces previously-new technology, making strategy difficult to formulate.
News World Summit 2011 featured a selection of five media minds who attempted to provide solace amidst this difficult reality.
Keynote speaker Wadah Khanfar, the former General Manager of Al Jazeerah, spoke past the issue of technology and reached the heart of what journalism really exists to do.
“People come to us because they find in us a message,” he added. He stressed the pillar of the profession as being producing in-depth coverage of “real life occurrences.”
Panel Discussion: What Will be the Fifth or Sixth Screen?
The Need for Cohesive Context
Former Al Jazeera General Manager Wadah Khanfar argued that, before journalists should focus on technology or audience interaction, they must not forget the “pillar of the profession.”
“I found that sometimes technology sometimes distract us,” he said.
He stressed multiple times that journalists must strive to place their news within a larger, more cohesive context, avoiding mindless regurgitation.
“The role of the journalist is to see the cracks in the wall, not to describe the wall,” Khanfar said.
Baumhauer on Increasing Journalism Complexities
Deutsche Welle journalist Guido Baumhauer talked about the ever-increasing complexity of today’s journalistic world. To alleviate a potential paralysis of workflow and effective productivity, he recommended media companies train their employees constantly so they remain equipped.
However, he said, invoking a proper mental approach is more important.
“But what’s even more important (than the skill shift),” he said, “is the mind shift.” He said this is more important because it cannot be trained as easily.
More than anything, journalists cannot be afraid of the future or of failing while trying to prepare for the future.
“If we fail, I’d like to fail forward,” he said.
Speaker Bio: Guido Baumhauer
Presentation: Baumhauer’s “Where’s Waldo” in Today’s News
How to Digest the Four-Screen Strategy
BBC’s James Montgomery highlighted the many ways content can be consumed in the modern, journalistic world.
More than any time in history, he said, news consists of “different content, consumed in different ways, at different times.”
Montgomery mentioned the four screens that BBC’s news production model focuses on: desktop, mobile, IPTV and tablet.
With that being said, companies must understand how different audiences digest the same information in a different context.
“We try to put the audience in everything we do,” he said.
Slupowski on Innovative Media Strategies
Patrice Slupowski, who works for the French website NExt.com, shared multiple ways his company is integrating innovation into their news media strategy.
He said, nowadays, three news domains constantly intersect: professional news, private networks and public social network news.
This clustering of traditional and social media networks, in Slupowski’s mind, is a large part of his company’s success.