Trinity Mirror, Arena Media and Aviva: Discussing the future of newspapers at Shift 2013

Lena Roland

Newsworks, a UK trade body formerly known as the Newspaper Marketing Agency, held Shift 2013, its first conference following the rebrand, in London in April, 2013. The well-attended event saw contributions from advertisers, publishers, editors and media agencies, all of whom offered guidance on how traditional print media can remain effective in a multi-platform digital age.

The main points from the day's presentations were:

  • A collaboration of traditional media and digital is vital to growth
  • Migration to a digital world must be embraced; newspapers need to serve their audience on multiple devices, in real-time
  • Paywalls should only be used by publishers of truly distinctive content, for now at least
  • News brands' strength lies in the quality of their journalism and high calibre content. In an era of user generated content and social sharing, where fake videos can misguide the public, trustworthiness is essential
  • Journalists and editors will need to learn new skills: in particular, video content appears to be a main source of reader engagement, and is therefore key to future growth
  • More broadly, the overall message, perhaps unsurprisingly coming from a news industry trade body, was that newspapers are not dying, they are merely evolving. Undoubtedly there is much innovation and optimism within the industry, yet the challenge remains: how do you commercialise the audience?

Trust and the printed press