Digital subscriptions put the newsroom at the centre of media organisations

By Peter Bale

INMA

New Zealand and the U.K.

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One of the three critical areas we’ve decided to focus on in the just-launched INMA Newsroom Initiative and this month’s launch master class is to go deep on contemporary publishing business models: from direct reader revenue through subscriptions to better-targeted advertising. 

“Subscription puts the newsroom back in the centre of the news organisation,” was how Gerold Riedmann, editor-in-chief at Vorarlberger Nachrichten and managing director at Russmedia in Austria, put it when I interviewed him about the Newsroom Initiative. 

A focus on reader revenue puts the newsroom in the middle of the news media company business model.
A focus on reader revenue puts the newsroom in the middle of the news media company business model.

But the Newsroom Initiative isn’t just for journalists. It should be valuable to everyone who works across publishing — from those who create the content, those who plan it, the marketers who promote it, and the advertising teams who support it.

Business models for journalism will explore drivers of reader-revenue models, advertising, and user-centric thinking in journalism and news products. 

In the launch master class this Tuesday, you’ll hear from industry veterans and innovative newcomers who are rethinking the relationship with readers and the power balance between newsrooms and the rest of the news publishing business. 

It’s all about the focus on user needs and analysing how readers engage with content. The Newsroom Initiative will share the tools and best practices that can help make your teams more effective, efficient, and create compelling journalism products that people are prepared to pay for through subscription or membership or indirectly with their time. 

We will look at subscription models, membership models, advertising models, and the mixes of those that require newsrooms to respond with different content recipes. 

“What the journalist thinks is important when you want the audience to increase their trust,” says Dagbladet CEO and Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Beverfjord. (And that will be an excellent segue to our master class, which is all about trust and quality). 

If you’d like to subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter, INMA members can do so here.

About Peter Bale

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