Digital news companies are struggling to find their footing as industrywide transformation takes hold. While digital ad revenue is growing quickly, the majority of it is going to big platforms like Facebook and Google. Add in ad blocking and even the bigger digital news sites—so-called old media and digital natives alike—are having trouble finding sustainable business models.

In today’s environment, innovation ranging from product and market expansion to new advertising and content models is proving key.

To help you better understand the forces at play, this month’s recommended reading focuses on the changes happening now and those ahead in the digital news business. Learn what you need to do to be ready.

Book Picks: Digital Media Transformation

Making News at The New York Times by Nikki Usher

This book is the first in-depth portrait of the nation’s, if not the world’s, premier newspaper in the digital age, bringing to bear the overarching value clashes at play in a digital news world. It argues that emergent news values are reordering the fundamental processes of news production. Immediacy, interactivity, and participation now play a role unlike any time before, creating clashes between old and new. These values emerge from the social practices, pressures, and norms at play inside the newsroom as journalists attempt to negotiate the new demands of their work. Interactivity, inspired by the new user-computer directed capacities online and the immersive web environment, brings new kinds of specialists into the newsroom, but exacts new demands upon the already taxed workflow of traditional journalists. And at time where social media presents the opportunity for new kinds of engagement between the audience and media, business executives hope for branding opportunities while journalists struggle to truly interact with their readers.



The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand

Companies everywhere face two major challenges today: getting noticed and getting paid. To confront these obstacles, author Bharat Anand examines a range of businesses around the world, from The New York Times to The Economist, from Chinese Internet giant Tencent to Scandinavian digital trailblazer Schibsted, and from talent management to the future of education. Drawing on these stories and on the latest research in economics, strategy, and marketing, this refreshingly engaging book reveals important lessons, smashes celebrated myths, and reorients strategy.



innovators-coverInnovators in Digital News (RISJ Challenges Series) by Lucy Küng

News organizations are struggling with technology transitions and fearful for their future. Yet some are succeeding. Why are organizations such as Vice and BuzzFeed investing in journalism, and why are pedigree journalists joining them? Why are news organizations making journalists redundant but recruiting technologists? Why does everyone seem to be embracing native advertising? Why are some news organizations more innovative than others? Drawing on extensive first-hand research, Innovators in Digital News explains how different international media organizations approach digital news and pinpoints the common factors that help build their success.



The World News Prism: Digital, Social and Interactive by William A. Hachten and James F. Scotton

Now available in a fully updated 9th edition, World News Prism provides in-depth analysis of the changing role of transnational news media in the 21st century. It includes three new chapters on Russia, Brazil, and India and a revised chapter on the Middle East written by regional media experts. The book also features comprehensive coverage of the growing impact of social media on how news is being reported and received, and charts the media revolutions occurring throughout the world, examining their effects both locally and globally. Also, it surveys the latest in new media and forecasts future developments.


Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee

Many of the most dynamic public companies, from Alibaba to Facebook to Visa, and the most valuable start-ups, such as Airbnb and Uber, are matchmakers that connect one group of customers with another group of customers. Economists call matchmakers multisided platforms because they provide physical or virtual platforms for multiple groups to get together. Don’t let the flashy successes fool you, though. Starting a matchmaker is one of the toughest business challenges, and almost everyone who tries to build one fails. In Matchmakers, the authors explain how matchmakers work best in practice, why they do what they do, and how entrepreneurs can improve their chances for success. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an investor, a consumer, or an executive, your future will involve more and more multisided platforms, and Matchmakers—rich with stories from platform winners and losers—is a book that can help you navigate this appealing but confusing world.


Content is King: News Media Management in the Digital Age by Gary Graham, Anita Greenhill, Donald Shaw, and Chris J. Vargo

From the viewpoint of newspaper organizations, the main competitive media has shrunk to only one: the Internet. But the effect of this innovation has been devastating in capturing the vast majority of the advertising revenues on which newspapers have depended. The larger the Internet-based media became, the more newspapers and other media shrank. Pairing an academic and former industry news manager, this textbook assesses the situation in which the regional news media industry finds itself, and explores methods, processes, and techniques that might usefully be introduced to help the news media firm secure a viable future. In focusing on newspapers, magazines, TV and radio, this book is filled with real-life examples and interviews with news media managers, illustrating how management is being conducted in this age of turbulence. The goal is to give readers practice in solving complex strategic problems and to provide them with a series of intellectual and professional exercises.

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Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.