The Global Editors Network (GEN) confronts the problems and the opportunities of the world of media, looking to respond to a simple – but at the same time difficult – question: where is journalism headed in the future?

(Athens) – Writing well is not enough. To produce good journalism online requires much more. In the era of artificial intelligence, of 360° video and smart speakers in order to keep up with the times, with technology and, obviously, with the desires of readers who today do not just read, but expect to be able to interact with information content through animated infographics, listening to podcasts and watching videos and photo galleries that can bring them closer to the topics being covered.

In order to respond to these needs, the Global Editors Network (GEN) organised a three day event (taking place from the 13th to the 15th of June) with the most important experts in media and communication. The most recurring questions – and those asked during the connected workshop and masterclass – were: where is journalism heading? And, above all, where do publishers go from here? What should they be doing for their readers? What should editorial offices be doing in order to improve?

Not only occasional readers, but also their most loyal subscribers

In the past few years the perception of a publications role has changed. It is only with print editions, that there is value placed on the “selection of quality” for content and the reliance of publications to satisfy the selection requirements that are of interest to the reader. Now, with the growth in traffic created by social networks and with news being accessed in a fragmented manner, would seem to have spread the idea that for news happening in the moment in which it is given, its source and where it comes from is secondary and of less importance. Journalists need to confront this new cultural paradigm by creating content that is more informative than than that of the competition writing on the same topic and having a better understanding of the specific interests of their readers.

Matthias Kretschmer, founder and CEO of Desk-net, in fact explained how the way in which journalists work has changed, having thus evolved:

  • Don’t select content based on the interests of the public
  • Schedule content correctly
  • Schedule the right content at the right time

These points, which are entering into the practices of modern online publications, have only been adopted in the past ten years, in response to the dizzying rise of particular news websites and the diversification of the competition. Because of this, for the first time, it is possible to understand what are the true interests of readers. 

From data to the presentation of the content

“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.” The quote, which opened the masterclass of Dmitry Shishkin, editor in chief of Culture Trip, was made by W. Edwards Deming, an American statistician, lecturer and management consultant. Data is therefore fundamental and can help us to better structure our homepages and satisfy our readers. To do this, use these four principles as a guide. 

  • Get attention with the title
  • Choose the photos with care
  • Keep checking on it with your mobile
  • Offer a varied and balanced selection of content

By analysing our homepage, and the content displayed, helps us to create content more suited to our readership. That way they can choose us every day with greater interest.