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Saturday 20 January 2018

'Media organisations should collaborate more on platforms to attract advertising' - INM's Stephen Rae

Independent News & Media’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Rae
Independent News & Media’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Rae
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 on Tuesday morning 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 means organisations need to work together on projects, and he highlighted advertising as a potential area.

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 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 referenced a similar project currently underway 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 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.

“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.

Mr Rae said he believed that while the disruption will continue, news organisations have learned to adapt.

Mr Rae also 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 often 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."

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