World Association of News Publishers


Media Transformation

Media Transformation

The news media industry, like many other industries, is experiencing sweeping change and transformation. That can mean in the newsroom, in advertising, in production, in technology, but for transformation to truly succeed it needs to be all-encompassing. We will track down best-practice around the world. (Image source: FreeImages UK)

In the Blogs

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to newspapers and their production operations.

Women in News has developed a practical guide for media organisations and professionals with the aim of equipping them with the necessary tools and insights to improve gender balance in content. 

Editor and consultant John Crowley shares initial results from a survey investigating how journalists are coping with COVID-19, and what the news sector might look like once the pandemic is over.

Snehasis Roy, Technical Director of India’s Times Group, recently joined us for a WAN-IFRA Webinar to discuss how the publishing house has been affected by COVID-19 and the measures they are undertaking to try to cope with the crisis.

For The Globe and Mail’s Editor in Chief, David Walmsley, the newsroom of the future is one where journalists can focus on finding and telling great stories. With Sophi, its homegrown AI system, the Globe is on its way to making that happen.

The COVID-19 crisis has forced news organisations around the world to adopt measures to ensure they can continue to produce content at the expected rate and standard, while keeping their staff safe. In late March, WAN-IFRA surveyed more than 100 editorial executives who are part of its Global...

Both Facebook and news organisations such as the BBC are acting rapidly to meet the mushrooming demand in India for various types of video content.

Although the World Health Organisation has declared that newspapers are safe to touch during the COVID-19 pandemic, one Sri Lankan publisher apparently took their precautions a step further to ensure readers of the safety of their newspapers.

The COVID-19 crisis has forced newspaper publishers to make changes to how they operate their print production. Most have adopted preventive measures to ensure continuous production and distribution of newspapers

As COVID-19 cases ramp up in India, newsrooms have swung into action to keep journalists safe, while ensuring a steady flow of content.

From food to technology to hard news, India's NDTV HOP Live, a mobile-only, vertical viewing platform focussed on creating sharable, interactive and on-the-go-video content for millennials produces 30-35 hours of fresh video content every week.

Media innovation methodologies are often created in well-developed media markets, but do they function equally well in different contexts around the world? We spoke to a Colombian university media lab to find out how it approaches its innovation projects.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, many news publishers around the world are rapidly developing additional print and digital services, in particular daily newsletters, for news and information relating to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis has forced newspaper publishers to make changes to how they operate their print production. Most have adopted preventive measures to ensure continuous production and distribution of newspapers

For The Globe and Mail’s Editor in Chief, David Walmsley, the newsroom of the future is one where journalists can focus on finding and telling great stories. With Sophi, its homegrown AI system, the Globe is on its way to making that happen.

During a WAN-IFRA World Editors Forum webinar on Thursday, editors from Asia and the United States discussed how they and their editorial teams have made the swift transition necessitated by the rapid rise of the coronavirus from their traditional newsrooms to working from home to get their...

From Japan to Canada, startups to tech giants, many media are now thinking about and using AI. What does this mean for media workers, readers, and, who’s responsible?

In 2013, three IIT students, Deepit Purkayastha, Azhar Iqubal and Anunay Pandey, launched an application called Inshorts, a pioneer in short form content. Today, it is one of India’s biggest digital...

“Technology transformation is not a problem for just legacy companies, but for digital companies, too,” Ajay Shrivastava, Group Chief Product Technology Officer and Business Initiatives Officer at HT Media, told participants at...

“Newsrooms that don’t embrace change are going to be left behind,” Brett McKeehan, Director – Asia, CNN Digital Worldwide, Hong Kong, said at the recently concluded ...

Greg Barber, The Washington Post’s Director of Newsroom Product, talks about the organisation’s approach to election coverage, new storytelling formats, and experimentation on channels like TikTok and Twitch.

The German media lab focuses on innovation at the business model level, seeking and creating products and commercial opportunities that go beyond the conventions of the news industry.

DuMont Media Group, one of Germany's largest news publishing companies, will not sell off its entire collection of regional newspapers and exit the consumer media business, but is continuing to divest itself of individual regional publishing groups.

The British broadcaster will extend its successful gender equality approach to encourage use of more diverse commentators, including people with a disability and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

“Digital transformation is about risk taking, hard work and bringing talent and strengths together,” says Stéphane Mayoux, one of the coaches of WAN-IFRA’s new Table Stakes Europe initiative.

With a personalised, in-depth content offer, The Athletic has its sights firmly set on becoming the go-to destination for die-hard sports fans. And not just in the United States.

The year 2019 was a period of slowdown around the globe. The impact was felt in the news media industry, which had already been going through a not-so-easy transition period from print to digital. Lower spend from advertisers, along with other factors such as reduced consumer spending and...

The Dutch broadcaster’s media innovation lab uses novel technologies to provide engaging narrative experiences, while also informing its audience about the technologies’ possible impact on their everyday lives.

"As is common for technology companies, the 'beta' concept has permeated our work initiatives," says Marta Gleich, Executive Editor of Zero...

Want to spark creative thinking and drive innovation in your newsroom? An interdisciplinary team might help you do just that.

Helping local news publishers succeed is a key part of WAN-IFRA's mission. As part of the association's ongoing efforts to do this, WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyrègne announced in June the launch of a European version of a popular US local news initiative.

Kurt Sabathil, Managing Director of Schwäbisch Media, has seemingly taken to heart the Darwinian "survival of the fittest" theory when it comes to the strategy of this German regional media group.

The continued rise of Media Labs is the focus of the latest 2019 Trends in Newsrooms report. It unpacks their role, examines their organisation and offers advice on what you should do if you want to start one.

As reader habits have changed in Asia and elsewhere, the importance of print media as a source of news has declined in recent years. There is a need for news publishers to adapt to a new business model to sustain the...

A strong focus on a “reader-first” circulation model has helped The Economist grow its reader revenues by 50 percent while doubling its gross margin in the past five years.

A South African spends more money, in a lifetime, on communication than on health or education. The country has a high penetration rate of smart phones, which unfortunately does not translate to cheap data rates.

It could be only a matter of time before robo-journalism makes its inroads to India

“We don't do anything without an audience opportunity and a revenue opportunity,” Robertson Barrett, President of Digital Media at Hearst Newspapers, told participants at WAN-IFRA's recent ...

WAN-IFRA has published a new report that examines one company's journey from publisher of popular print magazines to diversified business group with a data agency and marketing companies – and popular print magazines.

As The Atlantic ramps up its plans to launch a subscription model, the venerable American magazine has been restructuring its staffing units in order to better align its business model with readers' needs.

Wendy Metcalfe is not your average editor-in-chief. For starters, not only does she oversee editorial operations, she’s also in charge of marketing and customer service – "essentially anything that touches the subscriber," she says.

[VIDEO INSIDE] In a standing-room only session at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times company, sat down with Tina...

More publishers around the world are joining together to provide their advertisers with greater scale and data to more effectively target the audiences they want to reach.

Two ad alliances, together representing four of Germany's largest media companies, have joined forces with the aim of countering the dominance of tech platforms.

In the space of seven years, Aller Media Finland, part of a pan-Nordic media holding, has transformed itself from a magazine publisher to a diversified media, marketing, and data services concern that continues to publish two weekly...

The publisher of some of Finland's most successful magazines started changing its culture and transforming digitally well before circumstances dictated those shifts, as Director of Media Business Elina Schüller describes in this interview.

While introducing a paywall came with an initial massive traffic loss for Austria’s Kleine Zeitung, it has helped the newspaper power the change towards a more digital mindset, and boost brand awareness among users.

“Innovation is not an event. It's not a lab. It's not the perfect day once a year. It's something that's happening 365 throughout your organisation and it's a really hard process,” says Niddal Salah-Eldin, Director of Digital Innovation at WELT.

Most publishers thriving in today’s “Digital Subscription Economy” will tell you: the most expensive enemy in this world is churn. That is from Cecilia Campbell, who researched and wrote WAN-IFRA’s just-published report, “Engaged Readers Don’t Churn: Retention Lessons for Digital Subscriptions...

“A media company can potentially have up to 12-15 revenue streams without moving away from its core,” says Raju Narisetti, Professor of Professional Practice and director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University.

“Increasingly, a...

While newspaper paywalls remain relatively rare in Latin America, two papers there have achieved success with paid-content strategies: O Globo in Brazil and Clarín in Argentina.

In 2015, the Guardian had lost around 100 million pounds for the year, and despite having a huge readership, its future was looking bleak. Today, the company is rapidly approaching break-even, has broader reach than ever and has increased its endowment to more than 1 billion...

Between 2012 and 2017, the Spanish news publisher El País recorded 68 percent growth (EBITDA). Those five years marked a period of sweeping change throughout the organisation, from a new newsroom to expanded global operations as well as a significant increase in video.

Reader engagement is a key metric in measuring brand loyalty. At the FT, the newsroom and commercial teams are united in their appreciation of the power of metrics and the data behind them.  

"One of the most important pieces of our revenue strategy in respect to readers has been our site," says Miki Toliver King, Vice President of Marketing at The Washington Post. "We spend a lot of time focussed on 'What is it we are doing on our site to...

“We are obsessed with margins,” Andiara Petterle, SVP of Product Development and Operations for RBS, says of the company's determination to pursue only those revenue streams that bring good profit margins.

"Our challenge is: How do we get the best out of our 1,000 salespeople? How do we get 1,000 salespeople who can take 2 million businesses by the hand and navigate them on this difficult journey?" says Morgan Stevenson, Director of SME Solutions for Newsquest, one of the UK's...

Hotel chains old and new alike have taken the leap to focus on customer experience and continuous innovation. Will news publishers follow suit? A guest post by Nikolay Malyarov.

In year-end predictions, World Editors Forum board member, Lisa MacLeod, head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar, foretold of "dramatic policy decisions emanating from Planet Zuckerberg." When on Friday, Facebook announced major changes to its news feed affecting publishers worldwide, we decided...

A critical year looms ahead for Canada’s beleaguered newspaper industry, writes guest poster Marc Edge, a Canadian professor of mass media and author.

Guest poster Kevin Anderson says 2018 can be a good year for news organizations – if they wholeheartedly embrace the audience-focused era. He points to publishers who have used data to improve their editorial and commercial performance and have begun to reclaim their relationship with their...

“Nail an identity and focus on that,” says Paul Smurl, the man who designed and led the successful New York Times digital subscriptions strategy. Smurl left the NYT in 2015 to become COO and president of...

A digital surge just occurred: WAN-IFRA just published four reports that deal with an array of digital media-oriented topics and strategies, highlighting global best-practice, smart use of data, growth strategies, and ads in VR.

When the Alibaba Group announced its intention to buy the South China Morning Post (SCMP) in December 2015, the news immediately sparked concerns over the impact this new ownership could have on the state of freedom of...

In this two-part guest post, Colin Morrison draws lessons from the business plans of several publishing empires as they cope – more or less successfully – with market forces destroying their print profits.

Guest poster Steve Gray, in a farewell post, takes stock of the news publishing industry's situation and describes some strategies designed for future success.

“Since I joined the BBC as a graduate trainee 20 years ago, media disruption has eaten away at the traditional business models of circulation, advertising and distribution. News media’s primary focus is shifting from the ubiquitous ‘bolt on more’ strategy to a more holistic approach,” writes...

Digital disruption, declines in traditional revenue streams, and multi-front competition: the news media are struggling to survive and, instead of tending to the causes of the disease, many are shouting for a miracle cure or someone to save them from this valley-of-death. The truth is: it will...

“Our brands have never been so powerful and reached so many people, so brand extension is key to our development and to revenue growth,” Jean-Luc Breysse, Deputy CEO of France's Figaro Group, told participants in WAN-IFRA...

The results of WAN-IFRA’s annual survey depict an industry that is increasingly building loyal audiences around its high-quality journalism, as the shift to reader-based revenue continues.

Schibsted Media Group in Scandinavia is often held up as THE shining example of a legacy news media group that seems to have gotten this whole "transformation" thing down pat. We are looking closely behind the scenes at the Schibsted phenomenon for an upcoming report. Here is a brief glimpse at...

In Norway, news publisher Amedia is taking a complex, data-driven – and successful – approach to acquiring digital subscribers. Freelance writer Em Kuntze caught up with Amedia's EVP, Pål Nedregotten, in the wake of Digital...

Only a very few newspapers that focus purely on quality journalism will be able to survive on advertising alone. And let’s face it, your publication probably isn’t one of them. Publishers must develop a substantial revenue stream directly from their readers in order to have a...

Innovation knows no boundaries, and that has never been more evident than in this year’s World Digital Media Awards winners. More importantly, it reaffirms that publishers can glean best practice from all corners of the globe: Oman, South Africa, India, Mexico, Germany…

Data. Data. Data. Big data. Small data. Too much of it. Not enough of it. Making sense of it all – in terms of context, content, and business – has been a struggle for most publishers. Xavier van Leeuwe, director of data & marketing at NRC Media in the Netherlands, can attest to that. His...

Over the past few years I've been involved in a number of digital news change projects at the BBC, either related to workflow changes, reprioritisation of content creation, and I thought it would be helpful to share a few thoughts on how I approach what is...

The answer, says guest poster Steve Gray, is yes – with qualifications. Gray describes numerous lessons from his own experience as a news publishing executive and from attendance at a leading conference.

It might seem impertinent, but at a time when media companies are battered by powerful external forces – changes in consumer behaviour, competition, technologies, legislation and even post-Brexit economic blues – it’s perhaps not an unreasonable question: Can media executives really do anything...

While the Norwegian media cluster in Bergen is well underway to establishing a worldwide reputation as a successful innovation hub, its network is further strengthened by the construction of Media City Bergen - a physical office park to house its members, including TV...

“Within two weeks, the French newspaper Le Monde will run out of cash.” So began French media analyst Frederic Filloux’s Monday Note essay on June 10, 2010. The iconic daily practically had one foot in the...

For a few years now, The Globe and Mail in Canada has had November earmarked for its move into a new, five-floor building in Toronto. But innovation never sleeps and CEO Phillip Crawley couldn’t wait to launch The Globe's new Lab351 innovation lab in the dedicated roomy space of the new building...

Last year, the Financial Times launched a revolutionary new approach to measuring the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, a method they call CPH (cost-per-...

Fueled by technology and driven by millennials, the sharing economy has pioneered a new perception about the value of physical and digital goods from which few industries are immune, writes...

Germany's NOZ Medien serves as a beacon of inspiration for regional media companies. Its stated strategy involves sweeping transformation, aggressive diversification – both organically and through acquisition – ultimately building a sustainable business backed by paid content. The company is...

What we've tried to do is, rather than think, What are we going to put inside that box? we think, What is it the advertiser wants to achieve and how can we create the best user experience in our environment based on...

Uncertainty reigns today in digital news publishing and that was evident at Digital Media Europe in Vienna last week. But there was also some true moxy on display. With a little crowdsourcing, here are our takeaways from the event that drew 330 executives from 35 countries.

It’s easy to let cynicism creep into the most upbeat of media minds residing within the intensely competitive newspaper and news media landscape that is London today. Kevin Beatty, CEO of dmg media, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, MailOnline, Mail Plus, Metro and Elite Daily, will...

In recent years, Asia has appeared among the bright spots of the world's newspaper industry in terms of traditional, print-based growth, and the view of many in the West might well be that news publishers there aren't yet facing the same challenges that they are. Nothing could be further...

How many news media companies today can say that nearly two-thirds of their overall revenues come from online activities?

What are the metrics or qualities to track whether a news publisher is on the right track in transforming their business today to a more sustainable future? That is the question we posed to a number of media analysts and consultants who do this for a living.

The coming months are likely going to be at least as active and intense as any of the past year, but most likely they are going to be even more overpowering for those in the media business.

Deseret in the US is often lauded as the darling of digital transformation. Driving much of that change has been Chris Lee, President of Deseret Digital Media, the separate business set up more than five years ago as part of the company’s dual transformation strategy.

The Wall Street Journal has just unveiled a redesigned WSJ.com - the first overhaul since 2008. It may be a case of...

Three years ago, one U.S. newspaper chain quietly leaped into what it now calls a “Digital Leads” future. The goal: Transform print newsrooms into real-time digital news operations engaged with community at every turn. In this article, Vikki Porter, Director of the Knight Digital Media...

In the January 2014 issue of World News Publishing Focus, we interviewed Eugen Russ, managing director of Austria-based Russmedia, for our cover...

In just a few years, Sanoma’s Mobile Development Centre in Budapest has evolved into a centre of excellence for the creation and development of media applications, launching hundreds of apps for the group and its clients in a wide range of industries.

The biggest consideration in print media right now is still how to make digital work for publications. Lisa MacLeod successfully took the Financial Times through this process. She speaks to Peta Krost Maunder about the little steps towards...

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of the New York Times, said the company has implemented all of the recommendations outlined in its...

Three legacy media publishers took the stage at the World News Media Congress in Washington, D.C., Monday to discuss how their companies have managed to grow as they have faced...

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