Friday 23 February 2018

Media organisations should collaborate to attract ads, says editor-in-chief of INM

Stephen Rae and Fiona Flannery Picture: Damien Eagers
Stephen Rae and Fiona Flannery Picture: Damien Eagers
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Media organisations should collaborate more and look at potentially developing a joint platform to attract advertising, Independent News & Media's editor-in-chief has said.

Stephen Rae told a networking event yesterday that collaboration between publishers is now key, and that media organisations need to focus on how they can work together.

"We have to collaborate more. I think there will be more consolidation in the industry. I think as media organisations, we will have to get on better," Mr Rae told the Women's Executive Network event.

"That means breaking down some of the walls."

Mr Rae said that media organisations will need to work together on projects, and he highlighted advertising as a potential area.

He referenced a similar project currently under way with Portuguese publishers. Named Project Nonio, it sees the country's six top media companies putting aside competition to pool data through a single log-in mechanic. Mr Rae pointed out the 'Irish Times' and RTÉ as traditional competitors to INM titles but questioned whether the time has come to collaborate, particularly in terms of digital advertising.

"Should we be working together as a giant platform to attract advertising?" he said.

He said there would still be "walls" and that newsrooms would still be competing.

But he added: "Certainly, on platforms, there should be a lot more collaboration."

Mr Rae said the rise of so-called fake news was an opportunity for trusted and verified news sources. And he argued that while populism was telling people what they want to hear, this wasn't the case with verified news.

"At least you know it's factual and accurate and verified, albeit you may not like the outlook or the particular ethos of a trusted news source, nonetheless, you know it's trusted and verified."

He said the newspaper industry is facing its most disruptive period in 100 years.

"When I first became editor-in-chief of INM, that was something we said about newspapers," he said. "Now you could say it about any industry. You could say it about banking, about retail, advertising, public relations, every single industry is now being disrupted," he said.

But he added that while the disruption will continue, news organisations have learned to adapt. And he said he remained optimistic about journalism.

"Why? Because we as news organisations will have to spend a lot more time on what we're good at, investigations. I think journalism per se has a bright future."

INM is the parent company of this newspaper.

Irish Independent

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