You may have heard that on Friday The Postgrad, The Entrepreneur, and I were at news:rewired – media in motion. So I thought I’d share five things I learnt during the day.
1. Apple’s Newsstand has been a complete game changer for journalism.
Alex Watson (@sifter), head of app development at Dennis Publishing, shared in the paid content session about the success they had seen since Newsstand launched in October 2011. He said they had received 3.5 million app downloads since October, 12. And these downloads have generated $400,000 for Dennis Publishing. And that figure’s after VAT and Apple’s 30 per cent cut.
2. Readers are aware of the shift to digital media – and possibly more aware than we realise.
According to Tom Standage (@tomstandage) digital editor of the Economist, 70 per cent of subscribers to the Economist said that in two years they expect to be reading (and to prefer to read) the publication digitally. Despite the fact that only 20 per cent of subscribers do at the moment. I think for me, this wasn’t something I’d really considered before. I know personally, I subscribe to a couple of magazines but haven’t ever ventured into reading them digitally, except when the physical copy hasn’t arrived on time. So the fact that 70 per cent of subscribers are expecting to prefer to read the Economist digitally in just two years really shocked me.
3. Journalists cannot do their jobs without a smartphone
Ok, admittedly not something I really learned at news:rewired – more something that was confirmed by Paul Gallagher (@pdgallagher), head of online content at Manchester Evening News, in the session about mobile reporting. He told some stories of the things that their reporters have done with the use of their smart phones, which included a video of Oldham’s most potholed road that was filmed by attaching a phone to the bumper of a car with a healthy amount of gaffa tape.
4. “Record is the new QWERTY”
Or at least according to Soundcloud’s audio content manager Ben Fawkes (@benfawkes) it is. He argued that audio is now as important as written word and with the increase in smart phone apps such as Soundcloud it’s now just as easy to record and share audio. Although I’m still yet to be convinced that record is the new QWERTY, I’m definitely pretty excited about venturing into some audio experiments and seeing if it’s as easy as it was made to look.
5. It’s really important to consider what you’re putting on social networks
I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times. And you’re probably sick of it by now. But, Sky News’ digital news editor Neal Mann (@fieldproducer) said that his rule was “If you wouldn’t say it on air, don’t post it on Twitter.” I think this is actually a really crucial thing that a lot of wannabes need to consider. Recently at uni, we’ve had a couple of lectures where the subject of social media use has been mentioned and we’ve all be encouraged to be more professional as potential employers could be watching. So I think the fact that even people who have already been working in the industry for a number of years are adhering to such policies should be a real wake up call for us to stop bitching and moaning on Twitter.