Sunday 23 October 2016

Future of media discussed at major international conference

Published 03/05/2015 | 02:30

CHANGES: Stephen Rae
CHANGES: Stephen Rae

Over 400 online executives and editors from some of the largest media groups in the world gathered in Bangkok last week to discuss the future of the industry.

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The Publish Asia event took place over three days focusing on online communities and content and related Big Data.

The conference discussed the changing face of the news industry and how various companies worldwide have adapted to digital.

Independent News & Media Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae told the conference how Ireland's largest media group has evolved to adjust successfully to a rapidly changing media landscape.

He told delegates that media disruption is here to stay. Increasingly, journalism was becoming mobile device focused, he said.

"Media organisations need to be agile and adaptive to constant change," Rae said.

He was speaking at a forum with Alan Soon, founder and CEO of Splice Newsroom and former managing editor of Yahoo in India and South -East Asia.

Earlier, Rae chaired a debate on the future of audience analytics and Big Data with Yves Bougan, CEO of Hearst Fujingaho in Asia and Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of Rappler, the online site in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Mr Bougan described how Hearst Fujingaho was adapting to the online change in the magazine industry in China and Japan and using data analytics to understand their audiences.

Ressa said it was never a better time to be a journalist. She said media companies had to become more tech focused and journalists who understood coding and technology would be successful. She described how crowd-sourcing on Rappler and audience engagement had helped save the life of Filipino Mary Jane Veloso who had been due to be executed in Indonesia earlier this week.

Eight other convicted drug smugglers - four Africans, two Australians, one Brazilian and one Indonesian - were shot by the Indonesian authorities.

Rae added that the current redesign of his organisation's newsroom will be digitally-focussed, and would see the "data scientists working cross functionally with the journalists".

INM has undergone rapid change over the last three years, which has seen the newsroom restructured and heavy investment into the digital news operation.

The media industry in Asia is still behind the curve of traditional publishing industry in the west but it is leapfrogging in technology and mobile adoption.

The Publish Asia event was addressed by Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The conference was organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News publishers, WAN-IFRA. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.

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