World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

A trident of innovators

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

A trident of innovators

That is what Francesca Panetta, Executive Editor of the Virtual Reality multidisciplinary team of The Guardian, is persistently doing. The idea is to create “more impactful forms to make stories resonate”. And that is how the first Brittish newspaper to produce online content jumped into the virtual reality experience, a conventions-free field that basically let them decide how to define it. Their opera prima was “6x9”, a virtual experience that puts the user in the skin of an isolated prison inmate, whose success led to more projects and partnerships, and of course challenges that Panetta optimistically embraces.


It was also a challenge for Scott Armstrong to take over as Chief Executive Editor of the Times of Oman in 2014. By then the paper had a 10 percent of share of the market and it was the fourth title in the English and Arabic arena, with scarce 15.000 followers on Facebook. Three years later, its share has increased to 15,9 percent, it has scalated to the number two among the English/Arabic papers and has half a million of followers on Facebook. The formula? “What we did was to review the content using the mathematics of news”, he said. This is: how many people are impacted by the content? How relevant is the front page to the readers? The education of the editorial began –not without resistence- the day one with the aim of improving the quality of journalism covering Oman. A “cultural change” was necessary (including earlier shifts and a more integrated print and digital media room). But it worked. “We believe in ourselves”, Armstrong proclaims.


It is not possible to speak about innovations without mentioning AI. Inam Hussain, Head of Sales of Google Cloud, South East Asia, explains how AI and Machine Learning can help news organisations to face increasing challenges in various ways, including attracting and retaining audiences on all platforms and staying ahead of increasing competition for readers. “It is all about making it easier for the user to engage with the apps”, Hussain said. In the yet somehow unknown field of AI and Machine Learning (one branch of the field of Artificial Intelligence which consists on repeatable, scalable learning), Hussain puts the focus on five sectors for the news industry: cloud vision, cloud video, cloud natural language, cloud speech and cloud translate. “Ultimately as an organization you know best which app you want”, he assured. And to know better what to chose: 


Paloma Almoguera


2017-04-19 11:57

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