Good Times and Bad Times Ahead in News

This past weekend I attended the second edition of Melt – This is a new age marketing communications conference. The first edition was held last year in Mumbai. This edition was hosted in New Delhi.

One of the main reasons I attended Melt was to listen to Raju Narisetti, someone who I have greatly admired over the last few months. He not only gave India a smart newspaper in Mint. But he has been going places as part of the senior management at one of the world’s largest media houses. He is also going the many extra miles to return to India in less than four weeks to be at PRAXIS.

Raju’s session at Melt was about what will and will not change in the News business in the short to medium term. Here are a few highlights from his address.

  1. Print is not going away – Just as everyone wants to believe that print is dying, economies such as Japan and India are proving otherwise. It will be a long while before print really fades away.
  2. Digital is growing but not as fast – The digital penetration is taking place but not at the speed media owners intended it to be.
  3. Pay walls can work but just don’t count on them – Some outlets are exploring bold experiments but there is no guarantee it will work for everyone.
  4. Readers won’t always come to the news – In other words, the news will have to go to the readers.
  5. News outlets need to go from being gate keepers to gate openers – Have you noticed some of the outlets offering news that directs you to other outlets? This is because they want to direct readers who start out on their website. They want to help their consumers navigate the information overload.
  6. Digital video offers great hope. Show and tell to make money – This has been said for long but now seems like the way forward.
  7. Mobile reality will be a harsh reality – We have seen it and there is more to come.
  8. Content is king but experience will rule. Make content the experience pivot – Experiential offerings are hard to execute but remain in people’s minds forever. Good content delivered through a great experience will remain etched longer.
  9. Worry about time, not just competition. Native advertising and branded content is key – With owned media and self-publishing tools aplenty The Economic Times does not compete with Mint alone, any longer but competes with the likes of Flipkart stories.
  10. If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change – This is what we fear the most. We are risk averse and sometimes detest change. But things will change and we need to prepare for this.
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Amith Prabhu
Amith Prabhu is the Founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals.

He is also the Founding Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe).

He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.

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