We’re ready for ‘Journalism 2.0’, says Hartigan

NEWS Ltd is preparing for “Journalism 2.0” in the form of quality journalism, paid for by multi-platform subscribers, and available on mobile devices, its chairman and chief executive John Hartigan told the National Press Club in Canberra today.

Mr Hartigan said the industry’s future relied on disseminating information people need and value, from top-level investigative reporting to “hyperlocal coverage of real-time events” like petrol prices and local retail offers.

Examining the state of the industry, Mr Hartigan concluded that Australian newspapers would not go the way of their counterparts in the US and the UK, and that bloggers and news aggregators like Google and Yahoo would struggle in the future as they rely heavily on free newspaper content to thrive.

“The real threat to our viability is our own complacency and unwillingness to change,” Mr Hartigan said.

He revealed his company has “at least three separate teams around the country investigating real paid online content options and another looking at newspaper opportunities”.

Mr Hartigan predicted the rise of specialist journalists as readers sought out the very best of a limitless supply of information on all topics.

“What it will take is a complete rethink of the very essence of what is ‘news’,” he said.

“Journalism that doesn’t help people live their lives is going to be a low value commodity.”

Quality journalism will be defined as “Original, useful, unavailable elsewhere and relevant, he said.

Professional journalists in the future would be “very well paid, valued by their readers and the envy of their colleagues”, he said.

You can read the full transcript of Mr Hartigan’s speech here.

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