Need for more engaging content: A lecture by Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate, Reuters Institute on September 30, 2020


News brands that are losing relevance and trust need to invest in higher quality and more engaging content like email newsletters and podcasts, said Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate at the Reuters Institute.

“You can’t compete with Facebook or Google… but from a publisher’s point of view it’s more about understanding your audience more deeply and then delivering a wide range of products which may include apps, websites, email newsletters and podcasts,” said Newman, who is a digital strategist and was a founding member of the BBC News Website.

During his online lecture at ACJ on Wednesday, Newman said that the coronavirus had undermined ad-based business models. As a result, big-tech platforms were taking most of the attention and revenue.

According to Newman, in such a situation, curated editorial products like the e-newsletter could help revive reader engagement with news platforms. At the same time, this could add a touch of personality and connection to online news platforms, rebuilding readership trust, thereby drawing in more revenue.

Newman considered the podcast one of the most interesting innovations in digital media today.

“I started my career in radio and it’s just amazing to find young people who never had radios discovering the power of the spoken word for the first time,” he said, while adding that the audio format could soon become the next media disruption.