Future of Media event held at Drake Hotel looking at the changing face of media
KJ Mullins-Toronto: How people obtain their news content is changing rapidly with increased use of social media networking. Tools like Facebook bring interesting news items that people may never before have looked at because of their ‘friends.’ This new way of getting news is a focus of media companies.
On Wednesday evening local news site DigitalJournal.com held the second annual Future of Media event at the Drake Hotel to a standing room crowd. The event featured key players in Toronto’s media and social media scene. The discussion was attended by over a hundred people, mostly those in the media or tech field.
The panel included Elmer Sotto, Head of Growth for Facebook Canada Facebook Canada, Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail Digital, David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News, Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile and Mark Evans, a digital marketing and social media strategist and co-founder of the MESH conference moderated by Digital Journal’s managing editor David Silverberg.
From the Internet to mobile smart phones the world is going digital when it comes to news content. While mobile technology is still in the beginning stages for much of news content sources research shows that those accessing that content on their smart phone or iPhone are very active users, more so than those who use their computers for that access. Newspapers
Sotto said that he is obsessed by the growth of the user base and their engagement of their use of Facebook’s platform. Facebook is launching initiatives with media companies and investigating the needs of those users.
Evans is working from home now after years of working in the media news world including The Globe. He has carved out a niche in a new area of media in the Toronto area.
Gupta joked that his smart phones, which he is obsessed with didn’t work in the venue. His company, based in Toronto makes apps that are used world wide.
The use of social media has changed the face of journalism. Now anyone can call themselves a journalist but as Evans said content is still king for the mainstream journalism. The day of the high paid journalist is gone though because of this new age media.
Global focuses on breaking news and local news stories Skok said knowing that their audience looks for those features. Those looking for more tech related features go to other sites where their needs are met.
Kapoor said that Globe is working with Facebook to expand their referral traffic with good results. They are finding that Facebook users that go to their site are more engaged than others.
Gupta used Time.com as an example of the growth of mobile readers. Online readers average 14 pages from the site a month while the mobile reader tackles a hundred pages. One problem for mobile companies is the cost of changing their sites to mobile. The information is coming but it is still in the early stages.
Media does use social media for news gathering but at a limited rate, it helps with finding breaking news and running with it. The important difference is that reliable media expands the story and with the use of fact checking increases that credibility. The evil downside of Twitter Evans said is that stories are appearing on mainstream sites that have run with a Twitter lead without the fact checking.
Time will tell if journalism will be completely changed with the use of social media networking. The early view is that it has and will continue to evolve as technology changes the way consumers obtain their news.