Friday, November 28, 2008

The future - in a single breath

I spoke to students and academics at Kings College this week, wired for sound.

Apparently, the entire 60-minutes is to be transcribed word-for-word for a university paper, which is why I had to wear a lapel microphone as I delivered a lecture on the problems facing newspapers in the digital age.

I'm not sure anyone is going to relish the task of typing up my remarks. But for the more fortunate, here in 150 words are the highlights of my advice to publishers:

Make integration work on a technical level before you integrate people and workflows/Don't ditch your print edition until you can afford to ditch your brand/don't imagine you'll have the same pulling power online when faced with more organic and innovative competition/Be honest that the main point of integration is to cut jobs – and cut the right ones/Give blog space to new voices with something to say, not to corporates trying to appear on-message/Tailor your content to the actual medium and not to your perception of how it should be/Remember you are multi-media so don't treat any platform as a favourite son/Listen to those on the front line working with technology you don’t understand/Integrate best practice from both sides of the divide/Don't try to model yourself on something you’re not/Make SEO work for you, don't work for it/Re-structure staffing around key strengths and forget the romantic myth of the multi-media journalist - and never, ever, use the word content.

I'm not sure that'll spare a typist an afternoon's work, but it brought me down to earth, reducing my “keynote” address to a glorified nib.

2 comments:

Matt Churchill said...

Hi Richard, hope you're well! Wondered what you'd been upto since you started lecturing at Westminster proper...now i know!

Kaneko said...

Dear Richard,
It's Akino here from Tokyo. I was wondering if you could let me know of your contact email address if that's OK with you. (akinotokyo@gmail.com)