Murdoch warns of the ‘enemy within’

NEWSPAPERS that continue to succeed in the digital age will do so by developing their traditional relationships with readers, no matter how they’re delivered, Rupert Murdoch says in the new Innovations in Newspapers 2009 World Report.

The annual survey was released today  by the Innovation International Media Consulting Group for the World Association of Newspapers.

“Our success will still depend on the bond of trust between readers and our content, not on how many platforms we use,” he says in a preface to the report.

“This annual report demonstrates powerfully how newspapers around the world are being reinvented in the digital age. I believe newspapers have a wonderful future. As printed products and as newly empowered news brands that deliver great journalism across many platforms customised to the interests of readers.”

Mr Murdoch warns complacency is the biggest threat to newspapers and the real foe “is not competition from new technology, it is the complacency in our industry among people who have enjoyed monopolies, who have to compete for an audience they once took for granted, who don’t trust their audiences and who have not responded constructively to challenges from readers who no longer think editors are omnipotent oracles.”

“If we earn the trust and loyalty of our readers, good newspapers, and their electronic siblings will become even stronger news brands. They may not always be thrown over the fence each morning but their impact will continue to resonate in the communities they serve,” he says.

“Our role is to give our readers great journalism and great judgment. I am convinced circulation and readership will grow on web pages, through RSS feeds, in e-mails, on mobile devices and in printed newspapers.

The Innovations in Newspapers 2009 World Report is available here or also in pdf and print format here.

The annual report looks at major innovations and developments in the newspaper industry world-wide. This year’s edition, the 11th in the series, focuses on:

multimedia organisations – how to transform your newspaper’s vertical matrix into a horizontal, audience-driven management structure.

newsroom design and workflows – how to successfully integrate your newsroom in order to offer content on a 24 hour cycle to different audiences on every platform

new advertising models – how to shift from linear to modular advertising and change internal mindsets to selling audiences rather than just selling space.

mobile content and advertising – the power of mobile news and how mobility might hold the key to developing new revenue streams.

blogging – how to leverage the content of local bloggers and generate new audiences for your newspaper.

social media – the power of micro-blogging to generate traffic and loyalty to your news operation. How to integrate it into your daily news planning schedules effectively.

branding strategies – the best newspaper marketing campaigns, cases on how to rediscover the power of your news brand in your community.

new storytelling techniques

The Innovations Report serves as the centerpiece for a major presentation at the World Newspaper Congress, to be held in Hyderabad, India, later this year, from 30 November to 3 December.

The Innovations International Media Consulting Group will track major developments in coming months for the presentation, which will provide an overview of both the report and new cases and developments that emerge. Full details of the conference, the annual global summit meetings of the world ‘s press, can be found here .

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