Media organisations are determined to make the most of new opportunities in technology and social media – but are doubtful of their ability to do so effectively. That’s the revealing message from this year’s World Newsmedia Innovation Study, the result of collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the UK and the World Newsmedia Network.
For the last three years the director of the Journalism Leaders Programme at UCLan’s School of Journalism, Media and Communication, François Nel, has spearheaded the study that asks editors and managers from media organisation around the world about their business model, their plans to innovate and their confidence in doing so.
Commenting on the study, Nel said: “This year’s study reveals that media organisations from around the world are determined to make the most of new opportunities presented by new technology and social media.
“While editorial teams tend to be more sceptical than their colleagues, there is a general consensus that media organisations need to streamline their businesses and yet still find the space to innovate to make the most of new and existing products.
“However, many of them doubt their ability to do so. There is clearly much work to be done to build the competence – and the confidence – of their teams to ensure their visions are realised.”
This year’s survey found that most are determined to make the most of the new opportunities presented by social media, with 57% placing social media at the top of their list of where their company should be investing. The next two highest areas were paid-for products on tablets and e-readers, with 52%, and then paid-for ‘mobile phone services’ with 47%.
However, when these figures are broken down between management and editorial, it is clear that those on the editorial side of the business are more doubtful with less than half (48.3%) being convinced that social media offers the richest opportunities.
Senior managers are also more bullish than their editorial colleagues in their organisation’s ability to make the most of the opportunities presented by new technologies – which is perhaps unsurprising as companies shift from a more traditional media model to explore new activities.
When asked about their colleagues’ commitment to innovate and make the most of new opportunities, confidence wanes. All respondents are less confident about the capacities of the editorial, commercial and IT departments to deliver on the organisations’ visions. They are even less positive about their organisations’ abilities to foster a culture in which everyone is encouraged to be innovative.