For those looking for clues as to what the new year 2018 may bring for media, take a look at a new report from The New York Times calling for the Year of the Audience, and appointing three new positions to make sure it happens.
Everything we do, the copy we write and edit, and the pages and/screens we design, aim at the audience.
It is our reason to be.
In 2017, a catchy phrase was “audience engagement”, something that social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others, took care of in abundance. In seminar after seminar, I heard my fellow speakers relate audience engagement strategies as key: “create a clear path for how your content moves on social media”, “allow for commentary after articles; the audience likes to respond”, “monitor comments properly to stimulate discussion and debate.” In a nutshell: if your audience is involved, it is likely to return, and, as a result, pay for content consumed. Maybe.
Because 2018 is shaping out to be the year of Paywall Reconciliation for so many newspapers worldwide, it makes perfect sense that we think of audience engagement as a way to guarantee that the process of paying for content becomes more real and successful.
So, now The New York Times declares 2018 Year of Audience. Good idea, but I also think that for good editors everywhere, every year has been the year of the audience.
The newsroom is redoubling its focus on audience and establishing three new leadership positions that will play central roles in developing the Times’ audience strategy . Read more in this note from Dean Baquet, executive editor, Joe Kahn, managing editor, James Bennet, editor, Editorial Page, and Cliff Levy, deputy managing editor:
Our journalism has never been stronger than in recent months — and our audience has responded. We now have more than 3.5 million paid subscriptions and more than 130 million monthly readers, more than double our audience just two years ago.
But we have more work to do if we’re going to realize our ambitions of reaching still more people with Times journalism and adding millions of subscribers in the years ahead.
That’s why we want to make 2018 the year of audience.
Our goal is to ensure that our audience is at the core of our work. That means developing an even clearer view of who we’re going after, how we can best compete for their time and attention and how we can demonstrate to those who don’t yet know us well that Times journalism is so valuable that it’s worth paying for.
To do so, The Times is establishing three new leadership positions that will play central roles in the evolution and running of the newsroom. Click the link in each job title to see a fuller description and learn how to apply.
April 18-19, 2018-–Newscamp ,Augsburg, Germany.
May 26, 2018 —Associacion Riograndense de Imprensa, Univesidad de Santa Cruz (Unisc), Brazil
June 3-6, 2018—The Seminar, San Antonio, Texas.
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