1 February 2017

Digital Transformation is happening everywhere across many different services and even in industries you don’t expect - such as journalism. The New York Times just released a new ‘2020 Report’ outlining changes they have been through in recent years and their priorities and goals as they move forward into a new age in digital transformation.

Journalism has been around for centuries and has grown on a huge scale since publications saw the benefits of expanding their reach online, leading to many creating subscription services for consumers to receive digital news. However a new digital wave has hit the industry, publications like The New York Times recognise that in order to secure their future in the industry, a transformation has to be moulded throughout the business. This change has seen transformation responsibilities pass from business decisions makers to the journalists themselves.

Journalists are now expected more than ever to become digital experts within their own fields in order to tell a story that a reader can feel immersed in. New York Times have begun to put emphasis on visuals at the forefront of their reporting placing photographers, videographers and graphics editors in a primary role rather than a secondary role. It paves the way for a more visually engaging story.

The Times will encourage writers to use more conversational types of reporting by taking advantage of the available technology. Through email newsletters, alerts, FAQs, scoreboards, audio and video writers can report to readers on a frequent, predictable rhythm that matches their lives. Readers are looking for guidance more than ever such as how to do something new or improve their technique rather than traditional features. This presents a change in newsroom resources for journalists to participate more in the creative and production process.

Building an online community is key for any publication as one of the reasons news spreads rapidly on the internet is through social advocacy - where a loyal reader will share a story to their friends/family/colleagues through social media. The New York Times recognises more has to be done to add value to the readers’ who are led to the publication via an advocate to further improve their experience, and retain them as repeat readers. They believe it is through this convergence of content and technology they will achieve this.

Although just one example of the digital transformation revolution, the example here from The New York Times is somewhat of a microcosm a wider trend. It shows that the digital change is now expanding from the boardroom to the front line of the business. This kind of change is something that requires buy-in from everyone at an organisation in order to succeed, are the New York Times setting a gold standard in implementation for a new, digital future?

Image credit: “The New New York Times Building” by Jason Kuffer used under CC BY