World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Future of News Media: Two contrasting operations

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World News Publishing Focus
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Future of News Media: Two contrasting operations

The first speaker, Milou Klein Lankhorst (speaking in photo) described the book-publishing activities of a young, reader-funded in-depth-journalism site called The Correspondent, based in the Netherlands. Lankhorst was followed on the stage by Çağlar Göğüş, CEO of Hürriyet in Turkey, a large, legacy-media organization undergoing a digital transformation.

Lankhorst said it might seem ironic that an otherwise online-only publishing operation finds it beneficial to publish in a tradition-bound medium. But books, she said, are a natural outcome of the journalistic process at The Correspondent and have numerous advantages for the organization. Since The Correspondent's specialty is journalism with an emphasis on long reads and unusual perspectives, as opposed to breaking news, a book is just one step further.

Since the book-publishing operation is completely under the control of the site, all profits can be invested; there is no friction loss. Any book can be readily signed by the author with a note to the purchaser. The books are strong marketing tools and gather a good deal of publicity through other media – TV interviews with the authors, for instance.

Even the graphic design of the books is strongly consistent with The Correspondent's online appearance.

The three sectors of Turkey's Hürriyet

For his part, Göğüş (left), representing Turkey's market-leading publishing house, said his company divides its activities into three sectors: print media, digital media, and classifieds/e-business. Classifieds are "very important for us," he said. "We are investing a lot of money in them."

Hürriyet is the leader in both circulation and ad revenue in the Turkish market. It more than doubled its page views (combined desktop and mobile) between January and August this year.

Mobile's percentage of total user sessions rose from just under 50 percent at the beginning of the year to 65 percent in July. A redesigned mobile app nearly tripled the number of page views per visit in the first half of the year.

Other highlights of his presentation:

  • Hürriyet360, the fledgling 360-degree news operation, is drawing heavy interest from sponsors.
  • Verticals, including finance, video, food/cooking, health, and travel, are growing rapidly and proving successful.
  • Since Turkey is an extremely social-media-heavy media landscape, prominent presence on those plaforms is crucial.
  • Trusted news brands nonetheless remain important.

Asked whether Hürriyet is using any chat apps to expand its reach among young people, Göğüş said one experiment of that type had been conducted but was ended. He said such a service requires extensive resources and should not be done in a half-hearted manner.

In general, he said, the company uses a user-centric product development process, with the following four stages:

  1. User research
  2. User expectations
  3. Analysis of the competition
  4. Product development

These are Hürriyet's targets for 2020:

  • Full convergence between print and digital
  • Verticalization in lifestyle
  • Video
  • Mobile monetization
  • Local news and advertising in digital

See our earlier articles about each of these speakers:

Dutch site The Correspondent using books to expand its audience

Hürriyet CEO applies innovation, change management lessons

Photos: Krisztian Juhasz, Copyright 2016 by WAN-IFRA


Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski


2016-10-12 16:42

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