Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three words that will loom large in 2013: reponsibility, responsiveness, talent

When technology editor Sarah Marshall called me (along with seven others from both sides of the Atlantic) to discuss my predictions for digital journalism in 2013, three words came to mind.
The first was a word that loomed large in 2012 and will definitely feature prominently in journalism circles next year too: Responsibility.

Yes, there’s been a lot of talk lately about the responsibilities and irresponsibility­­ of news organisations. And that will no doubt continue, but I believe we will also see more discussion about the responsibilities of digital news users.

As I've said at both News:Rewired in London and  11th International Newsroom Summit in 2012 in Hamburg, it’s clearly not responsible - or sustainable - for users of any goods or services to expect something for nothing. 

So, as we see traditional media’s share of advertising spend remain under pressure, responsible digital news consumers increasingly understand that contributing directly towards the costs of  the  news and information they rely on is simply right thing to do.

Another word I believe will be widely used is Responsiveness.

It’s likely to be widely predicted that, for news organisations, 2013 will be the year that they ramp up their mobile activities.  In recent months, we’ve already seen occasions when news sites like the Guardian’s got more traffic via mobile devices than desktops.

With Santa likely to be stuffing thousands of tablets and smartphones into Christmas stocking this year, that’s likely to become the rule rather than the exception. Of course, for news organisations, the challenges are not only how to shift their content onto the increasing variety of mobile devices, but also how to take advantage of commercial opportunities that high-speed, affordable, mobile connectivity brings. 
Finally, I think that there will also be a lot more talk about Talent.

After several years of re-organisation and rightsizing of news operations, news executives are increasingly recognising that that their futures depend not only cutting costs and investing in new digital technologies,  but also on attracting and nurturing talent.

Forward- thinking executives will not only be focussing on how to work smarter, but how to get the smartest people to work for or with them.  

Others who contributed to the podcast are: Alison Gow, editor of the Daily Post and, North Wales (and recent alumnus of the Journalism Leaders Programme) ; Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news, New York Times; John Barnes, managing director of digital and tech at Incisive Media and chair of the AOP (Association of Online Publishers);  Mark Little, founder and chief executive of social news agency Storyful;  Raju Narisetti, managing editor, WSJ Digital Network,  Wall Street Journal ; and Stephen Pinches, group product manager for .