If you read just one piece of journalism-related stuff this weekend, make sure it’s Mary Hamilton’s 13 learnings from working at the Guardian.
One of the most successful digital journalists to have begun their career in the regional press, Mary’s article on Medium is rightly winning plaudits, and deserves the widest possible audience.
For me, it’s point 7 which is the one our industry still has the furthest to go to crack:
7. Platforms are not strategies, and they won’t save news.
Seriously. If someone else’s algorithm change could kill your traffic and/or your business model, then you’re already dead. Google and Facebook are never going to subsidise news providers directly, and nor should they. Stop waiting for someone to make it go back to the way it was before. If what you do is essential to your audience, so essential that their lives wouldn’t be the same without it, then you should be able to monetise that. If it’s not, your first priority should be to admit that and then get on with changing it.
Facebook and Google are as successful as they are because they’ve found a thing that people want every day, and use it. And audience research I’m currently looking at suggests many local media readers visit the same sites every day via these platforms. But when did we stop being essential to readers?