Media companies are facing these 6 newsroom challenges

By Michelle Palmer Jones

Nashville, Tennessee, United States


Peter Bale, who heads up the INMA Newsroom Initiative, has been digging into the business of newsrooms since the initiative launched in January of this year.

During the sixth of seven modules of INMA’s World Congress for News Media on Tuesday, sponsored by Stibo DX, Bale discussed the opportunity in newsrooms to have great influence over the business of news media companies. 

“It’s all about the business but it’s also about how you run a newsroom, how you build a new global news brand and how to get international teams focused on the same business goals,” he said.

Newsroom Initiative Lead Peter Bale explained the three pillars of the new INMA initiative.
Newsroom Initiative Lead Peter Bale explained the three pillars of the new INMA initiative.

Here are the challenges Bale sees right now for media companies around the world:

  • Determine specifically what user needs are and how media companies can embrace them is key: “We believe that you have to align journalism to the interest of readers, really thinking about reader needs.”
  • Focus on the people who spend time with the content and products is a strategy Bale has seen success with: “Focus on the audience you have and not the audience you wish you had.”
  • Align product and newsrooms. Bale is seeing a big crossover between newsroom and product this year and wants to see entire newsrooms living with different products, not just the product team. 
  • Align data and metrics: “If your metrics are creating a false picture, then you’ll start creating the wrong kind of content.”
  • Make news planning a priority. “News planning, I strongly believe, may be the missing link to becoming more efficient and more effective,” Bale said. “One of the single most effective ways to get more out of your newsroom is to not produce content that probably shouldn’t have been created in the first place.”
  • Focus on mental health. One other major challenge is mental health. It’s something Bale sees as an issue that has come up time and time again. He wants newsrooms to understand this sense of exhaustion with journalists, and he sees it as a business problem or risk since people are a newsroom’s greatest asset.

Follow coverage of the World Congress here and via #INMA2022.

About Michelle Palmer Jones

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