Media practitioners see native advertising, video as future of reporting

NEW YORK--What is the future of media? The question may resonate the most among journalists and other media practitioners. After all, it’s their livelihood at stake. The answer in a word may be video, especially the way the panelists talked about how it is going very far and coming in. Even GoPro is reportedly adding some kind of news coverage.

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Last August 27, Jessica Manis, Digital Associate director of Optimedia US; Alicianne Rand, VP for Marketing of Newscred and Chelsea Emery, deputy editor at BBC Capital at BBC Worldwide tackled this question head on at the District Dialogues at District Cowork at Nomad. Kerry Flynn, tech reporter of the International Business Times, served as moderator.  

Video content is going to evolve and we will be consuming it in different ways and telling stories in different ways.

The panel also talked about native advertising, the way paid content is made to look like a publication’s editorial content. It has been around since David Ogilvy’s days, but it has metastasized into various innovative digital formats –and names. Companies like Target did it for an entire issue of The New Yorker in what was called a single seller issue.  Scientology sponsored content for Atlantic, but it became too unpopular, it was inevitably pulled out.

Any talk of native advertising makes for an engaging talk and reactions from any camp.  The panel was curious about how it will evolve, saying they were watching it with interest, if it will change the model and what dilemmas it can present for publishers, even if companies produce good content. Wall Street Journal and other respected pubs are reportedly going the same route.

“Editors and publishers are finding the right balance,” one of the panelists said.

But not to think little of consumers, Rand said consumers are smart. It’s crucial to “own who you are,” because “pubs are brands.” Consumers, they said, are only going to choose what they value the most.

Do these outfits talk about startups? They have teams dedicated to searching for startups worth writing about. But in most cases, they will only cover those with “some size, some heft.”

What innovation would like to see in publishing? Looking at each other, they nodded, “Print.”