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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Hope ≠ reality

“Media companies should stop ceding the relationship between their readers and advertising to third parties and agencies.”

What should happen

  • Newsroom bosses should more formally articulate that the role of a journalist in their newsroom in 2013 now includes “the responsibility for bringing more digital audiences to his or her journalism.”
  • Newsrooms should pivot from simply rewarding the creation of great content for digital audiences to rewarding the creation of great experiences for those audiences with that journalism.
  • Media companies should stop ceding the relationship between their readers and advertising to third parties and agencies.
  • Advertising innovation from media companies should become as critical as content innovation.
  • “Mobile first” should become a newsroom mantra, as 30–50 percent of all digital news content consumption of most newsrooms shifts to mobile devices.

What will happen

  • As display advertising revenues continue to fall amid plunging CPMs, U.S. newsrooms, already unable to stem newspaper revenue declines, will continue to shrink dramatically in overall numbers.
  • Free news content from newspapers in the United States will become more scarce as more paywalls go up. “Me-too” paywalls, à la The New York Times’ paywall, will fail to save the business models of most metro newspapers, even if they add revenue streams.
  • Newspaper consolidation will reach into the top tier of U.S. and U.K. newspapers.
  • Google Glass, Square, Spreecast, Tout, YouTube, and Storify will grab a lot more of our attention, as will Cisco, Microsoft, and Intel.
  • Media punditry on Twitter will continue unabated from those who don’t have to actually manage newsroom budgets or preserve newsroom jobs.
Raju Narisetti is managing editor of the WSJ Digital Network. Previously he was a managing editor at The Washington Post.