Digital transformation keeps news professionals looking for answers

By Shelley Seale


Austin, Texas, United States


As a media veteran, Sandy Naude said that INMA conferences are where she gets all of her “go-to plans” for the next year.

Naude, CEO of Africa Community Media/Independent Media in South Africa, attended the INMA World Congress of News Media in May 2018 for the same type of timely, relevant information. Naude said that in years past, the formula for media companies was simple, and it worked. It was about sales and revenue — but now, it’s entirely different.

Many of the old formulas are irrelevant today, according to Naude. “We all know that we’re looking for the Holy Grail. What I take back to my media company is my place to look is INMA because INMA gives us the trends. INMA gives us the bread crumbs to follow.”

Today, it’s all about digital transformation — but the key is finding the things that are relevant to each individual company, Naude said. “Sometimes you’ve got to learn to take those steps, and sometimes you’ve got to drop the steps. This is such a constantly changing industry at the moment, that you’ve got to grasp it, take it back, build the interims, get the experience, and INMA is the place to do it.”

For Naude, one of the key takeaways from the 2018 World Congress was that it involved journalism much more. “I think obviously Washington is the right place to do that,” she said. She particularly enjoyed the editor’s retreat, which was held for the first time this year.

“I think for this year’s conference it’s about engaging with fake news. It’s about, obviously, our transformation, and it’s also about the pace of the transformation.” As Naude heard in the conference, the rapid pace of digital transformation is taking its toll on many media professionals.

“We’ve got to acknowledge that, and how we deal with that,” Naude said. “But what we’re taking out from this year’s conference is new trends, new outlooks, what to go with, what you think is the size for you — and with INMA, you never walk alone.”

About Shelley Seale

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