How to own our platform

The story of Jason and Miriam happened because most news organisations in the nondescript future left their own platforms to reach a much bigger one on social platforms, just as NowThis famously did.

It is not a likely future as most news companies has seen the value of subscription based business models and have a hard time giving sharing the income with Facebook or others. The monetization history of must social networks has also been lackluster for most classic news organizations.

And building a paywall that fits your audience is not easy and will probably not be a one size fits all model created by a social platform.

On top of the business model issues you the trust in the platforms is at an all time low. The reasons for that are many, but the saying “never build your business on sand” comes to mind.

So yes, the bleak future described in the earlier blog post is not a likely. But how could we make it even less likely?

The editorial development team could be one way.

Because it allows you to get the most out of your platform and let it evolve with the audience and trends. It gives you the opportunity to experiment with formats and storytelling. And it gives you the means to create new products that better respond to your audience’s need.

So how do we go about doing that? Here is a few ideas from my own team:

  • Create visibility by winning awards. The high profile projects tend to drive the direction of the newsroom. And the awards make it clearer were that direction is. Use those highly visible projects to experiment with form.
  • Build simple tools that let the newsroom tell their stories in a more engaging way. The reporters expect to be able to do more than you text.
  • Test and create new products align with the business strategy. It is probably much faster for the editorial development team to do the proof of concept than to let product and big development in.

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