Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ifra Publishes Newsroom, Mobile Services Research Results

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ifra Publishes Newsroom, Mobile Services Research Results

Article excerpt

The following Special Reports were published during the last six months or are being translated into German, English or French and prepared for distribution by Ifra, the international organization for newspaper and media publishing. All contain numerous illustrations and tables.

"The Changing Newsroom II - Change in Practice," the first special report in the series "The Changing Newsroom: The fundamentals," provides an overview of changes under way in European newsrooms. Many are creating new editorial products or developing current ones across multimedia platforms and devising ways to handle the balance between cost and time. This second report in the series examines four newsrooms' programs. The case studies show different approaches to implementing change, from incremental to radical (including headcount reduction, moving to a new building and creating entirely new workflows, organizational structures and IT infrastructure). All four studies provide an account of some of the most crucial episodes in these newsrooms.

Lessons learned, strengths and weaknesses will be taken up by the series' last report, which provides principles for those wishing to manage change more successfully in their own newsrooms. Author Sarah Schantin-Williams is an Ifra associate consultant.

A follow-up to a 2003 Ifra report, "Mobile services - an update: What all media companies preparing for mobile need to know" maintains that future consumers will always be "on" regardless of where they are, making mobile devices their life companion and personal assistant. Communication will still be the key function, however, information, personal expression and entertainment are some of the needs that will be fulfilled through mobile devices. Flat fees for data traffic have been launched in several countries, and the mobile development will be similar to that of the fixed Internet - flat-fee-based and broadband. This will cause an extension of usage as we have seen with the fixed Internet. So mobile services must be part of media companies' strategy -- as a return channel for print, context or location-based services, or news-publishing channel.

The various possibilities to build relationships with customers led to an exploration of which kind of services media are now looking at. The study gives insights into service portfolios, business models and expectations of how newspapers may best exploit the mobile market. …

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