By Greg Jaffe / Bloomberg New York (AP) With all eyes on the presidential election, the news media is now trying to figure out how to adapt its digital footprint and the digital content to fit the electorate’s changing moods.
The question: Is it enough to be “a source of entertainment and information”?
For many news organizations, the answer is yes.
But to do so effectively, the media must also make it easy for readers to access and understand the stories.
“If you want to be a news source, you have to make it as accessible and useful as possible,” said David M. Siegel, a former White House correspondent for Time magazine who now runs the New York-based Public Knowledge Institute, a think tank.
“It’s important that news outlets are responsive and engaging.
You can’t do everything in the digital age in a way that doesn’t make it accessible and understandable to the average reader.”
The Trump administration is pushing back on the notion that news coverage should be driven by “news value” and that the public should be treated with dignity.
It wants to overhaul the way the news is delivered, to better tailor stories to viewers’ interests and preferences.
And it wants to make sure news organizations pay attention to the needs of their readers, not just their bottom line.
In a new report, Public Knowledge suggests a different approach.
Instead of offering “news for a fee,” it suggests that news organizations should be paid for what they write and what they cover.
The organization’s report, titled “Media for the Public,” argues that the media is under siege from a changing electorate and that journalists and other news organizations need to find a way to work more closely with the public, especially online.
To help make the digital revolution happen, the report says, news organizations will need to develop an “open” approach to the content they provide.
“We’re in a period where people want to know more, they want to have more access, and they want a deeper understanding of the issues that are important to them,” said Robyn Buell, executive director of Public Knowledge.
“We’re going to have to rethink the way news is made, and we’re going have to develop better, more open models for how news is presented.”
Public Knowledge also argues that digital technologies and apps are making it easier to reach more people than ever before.
“The ability to communicate with a global audience is rapidly expanding,” the report reads.
“This is one of the ways that media organizations can help people engage with and understand news and politics.”
The report argues that media companies need to make their digital offerings more user-friendly.
“What we’re seeing is the newsroom being transformed, and it’s not necessarily just a matter of technology or hardware,” said Bueell.
“It’s about the way we think about what a newsroom should look like, and how we think of what a story should look as well.
We have to get this right.”
Public Citizen is working with more than a dozen news organizations to come up with a digital plan to ensure that the news they deliver is accessible to the public.
The group also is exploring ways to make the news more personal and personalizing.
For example, it is exploring the possibility of allowing readers to “like” a story before reading it.
That would allow readers to take action in a more personal way.
“I think the way to get the most value from our news is to make people feel like they’re part of it,” Buella said.
“And the news that we’re covering is about stories that people care about.
If we can make people more interested in the news, they’ll have a greater appetite for it.”
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There’s an audience for news, and if we can’t have both sides of the story, then we’re not getting a good story.”
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You can read more about the Public Knowledge report at the link below: