“In a way, I feel like I’m the interpreter of the interpreters.”
“These are companies that believe in journalism with an attitude.”
“We talked a lot at this conference about transformation. And you didn’t hear a lot about advertising.”
“The vast majority of newspapers reinventing themselves for the digital age are still print first.”
“This isn’t my judgement, it’s your judgement. This is the feedback I get from you.”
“The Times is competing for people.”
“Technology is a requirement."
“Digital first is about culture, audience, then revenue. In that order.”
“You can pick up ideas and perspectives everywhere you go.”
“The one thing I can safely say is I’ve never seen an incremental transformation program work."
“Mobile is transforming your audience.”
“I’m sure everyone in this room has some kind of transformation story. Start telling it.”
“I believe we need to be honest about our market relationship.”
“We are seeing at the people level the ‘math men’ replacing ‘the mad men.’”
“There is a fast lane, there is a slow lane, and there is something in the middle.”
“You have digital natives, print natives, and digital immigrants...When it comes to digital natives, we have a lot to learn."
“The average person is checking (mobile devices) about 150 times a day.”
“It’s The Washington Post versus Donkey Kong.”
“Programmatic, though, is coming your way.”
"We have to diversify revenue beyond digital.”
“We are obsessed with one thing: the presence of newsrooms at the size of yesterday."
“The other end of the burning rope isn’t even thinking about that. They’re not thinking about print.”
“The heads are up, the experimentation is alive.”
“The question is about the excellence of execution.”
Earl has served as the Executive Director of INMA for over 24 years, beginning in 1990. During this time her has written a number of books/reports about the future of media, marketing, and newspaper outlook. He is the publisher of Ideas Magazine and authors The Earl Blog at INMA.org.
Earl Wilkinson, executive director/CEO of INMA, wrapped up the 2015 INMA World Congress on Tuesday afternoon by describing the differences and strategies of legacy versus digital media.
As Wilkinson sees it, legacy and digital are like two ends of a rope, burning toward each other. Legacy media companies see journalism as an end, while digital media companies see journalism as a means to an end.
Wilkinson mentioned The Huffington Post, Vice, BuzzFeed and Business Insider, some of which he visited during the INMA pre-conference Media Disruption Study Tour of digital media companies in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“These are companies that believe in journalism with an attitude,” Wilkinson said.
Keys to success in such companies include advertising both in bold and subtle ways; targeting an audience of young, adult urban dwellers; and prioritising mobile, then desktop, then tablet platforms.
Technology is forcing the migration from print to digital. This transformation is a dangerous for media companies. Too much transformation at one time can cause problems for companies. It’s a step-by-step process.
“I’m sure everyone in this room has some kind of transformation story,” Wilkinson said. “Start telling it.
When it comes to digital data, there is a lot to learn, Wilkinson said. There needs to be less Big Data and more smarter data: “The importance of Big Data is that it’s in the middle of the burning rope.”
Wilkinson left the audience with what he feels should be the focus of legacy and digital media companies: Legacy should preserve print audience and advertising, while digital should grow its audience at all costs.
“You’ve got the road mad. This isn’t new to you,” he said. “The question is about the excellence of execution.”