I was lucky enough to attend an interesting panel discussion on “Leading the Digital Media Revolution in a Disruptive Era” hosted by the Society of Publishers in Asia at the brand-new headquarters of Hong Kong’s illustrious English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, on 3 May, 2018.
Moderated by veteran journalist Juliana Liu, and featuring panelists Tara Chanapai, from Coconuts Media, Anjali Kapoor, Head of Digital, Bloomberg, and Malcolm Ong, Head of Product at South China Morning Post, the discussion touched on the intersection of changing delivery platforms of news, retargeting readership demographics, and the continual reinvention of revenue streams.
While it would take an entire series of dissertations to solve such issues, the discussion did highlight what an exciting, albeit uncertain time it is for the news business, and journalism-tech (is that a term?) especially in the context of Hong Kong, but certainly for the wider Asia Pacific region.
The panel discussion was broadcast in its entirety, live through SOPA’s Facebook feed, which can be found at the following link:
Some key takeaways for me as a former journalist and former publicist, was that despite all the new social and digital platforms available today, the traditional press release is still an effective tool to deliver newsworthy content to journalists.
“Traditional press releases still work”
– Juliana Liu, Senior Editor at Inkstone
The key difference with today’s audience being the story angles; what once would have been a sidebar story is increasingly more likely to be the main angle of any given story according to Juliana Liu, Senior Editor at Inkstone, one of SCMP’s new digital products aimed at a younger demographic.
It was also heartening to hear that text, photo and video pitches are welcomed by journalists, helping them to create more compelling stories from different angles.
“Photos and videos obviously enhance pitches”
– Anjali Kapoor, Head of Digital, Bloomberg
With the many disruptions to the news media industry in recent times, one thing has emerged as a new constant: Flexibility. News sources remains the same, but the way that that information is transmitted is what has changed.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to you – these are all tools in front of you. How do you want to tell the story? And therefore, how do you want to reach your audience?”
– Malcolm Ong, Head of Product at SCMP