Four Kitchens

Digital media and journalism trends 2018

3 Min. ReadIndustry report

Read all about it! Recently, Four Kitchens showcased our service offerings in The Midway at the Online News Association’s (ONA) annual conference. While we were there, we had the opportunity to share our areas of expertise with professionals in the journalism and digital media space and learn more about their concerns and trends from their industry as well. Here are some of the things we learned in a “just the facts, Ma’am” format.

Delivering content to across multiple platforms
  • Journalists know that audiences are better when they are engaged across multiple platforms.
  • Newsrooms need insight into what content performs best on which platforms.
  • Content managers need to optimize workflows to distribute content to multiple platforms.
  • Vertical video, video that is best viewed vertically on mobile, is here to stay.
  • Think ahead about platforms that will be emerging next. Platforms are always changing.
Best practices for notifications
  • Good notifications lead to positive engagement.
  • Make sure notifications are sensitive to the users’ time zone.
  • Utilize copy editors to assure that notifications are correct in content and spelling.

Data informed, not data led

  • Is “reach” as a metric dead? Should digital journalists focus on engagement and loyalty?
  • Journalists are interested in reporting the news (as they should be), not driving ad impressions.
  • They aim to be data-informed, not data led.
  • Good content/journalism is the best driver of metrics.
  • Analytics must be actionable.
  • Metrics that lead to conversion are returning page views and total engaged minutes.
Responding to sensitive topics
  • Digital journalists must navigate the fine line between reporting and “grief tourism”.
  • Know boundaries and respect those who are directly affected by the stories that are being reported.
  • Would you want to answer the questions you’re asking people?
  • For some victims, media coverage becomes a “second trauma.”
Journalism and social media
  • Users now more likely to visit news properties directly than via social media properties like Facebook. This shift has occurred in the past 18 months.
  • We’ve spent so much time figuring out how to get audiences to read stories on FB and Twitter, but now we’re in “a post-social world.”
Immersive storytelling
  • It’s important digital media producers lea\r\n \this new storytelling tool.
  • Challenges for AR: 1) How to do high-quality AR content in fast news cycle. 2) Resources needed, so how to form collaborations. 3) How to figure it out and experiment. 4) How to distribute it to a wider audience when the tech is still in development.
  • Prices are coming down for immersive storytelling equipment. Don’t force it. On some stories, there may not be an AR or VR component. Be sensitive about the value you’re bringing to that story.
  • 360 gives context, AR gives you detail on an object.
  • Visual editors need to start asking themselves “Why is this a photo and not a 360 shot?”
Audience engagement
  • Desktop traffic has gone steadily down (-20%) the past 20 months. Mobile audience, on the other hand, has steadily increased.
  • Mobile users have different consumption habits, but challenge still the same: Reach right audience, make sure they read content, and ensure they come back for more regularly.
  • Mobile visitors scroll to view 25% of a page compared to 34% for desktop on homepages. Yet they engage with the page longer and are more likely to click and read.
How to tell global/multilingual stories for a local audience
  • Managing multilingual content is becoming an essential journalistic project.
  • Providing multilingual journalism is key in many markets, like Reno and Chicago, where 25% (and growing) of the audience speaks a language other than English. These communities are not being served without multi-lingual coverage.
  • Translating a story to another language may change the inflection, tone, or intention of the story.
  • Report with bilingual communities, not about them or for them.

All in all, we’re excited to have spent three days sharing with and learning from those in the digital media and journalism space and we’re looking forward to participating in the ONA Conference in some capacity in the future.

Did you miss Lead Solution Strategist Alex Hicks speaking with other industry experts on Remixing Content: Refining Your Workflow to Make Your Work Flow? You can check out the audio recording here.