Focus on quality and innovation, says media conference

(AGI) Rome, Dec 5 - Traditional media need to innovate andfocus on quality to avoid being 'devoured', was the messagefrom a meeting of American news giants, devoted to the futureof the media in the U.S. and Europe, at the Centre for AmericanStudies in Rome. This was the most tumultuous moment in thehistory of daily newspapers, said Wall Street Journal Editor inChief Gerard Baker, traditional media had to carve out a clearidentity, be recognisable on the information scene, and build acommunity of readers, based on trust and credibility. CBS NewsCEO Jeff Fager

(AGI) Rome, Dec 5 - Traditional media need to innovate andfocus on quality to avoid being 'devoured', was the messagefrom a meeting of American news giants, devoted to the futureof the media in the U.S. and Europe, at the Centre for AmericanStudies in Rome. This was the most tumultuous moment in thehistory of daily newspapers, said Wall Street Journal Editor inChief Gerard Baker, traditional media had to carve out a clearidentity, be recognisable on the information scene, and build acommunity of readers, based on trust and credibility. CBS NewsCEO Jeff Fager said the channel's reporters were asked not toworry about getting there first but about writing correct,accurate news stories. There was a thirst for high qualityinformation on important issues, he added, citing the '60Minutes' programme, broadcast in the U.S. on Sundays, the lastedition of which had netted a record 18.5 million viewers. Theprogramme had discussed Syria and cybercrime. Reporting whatwas going on in the world, rather than focusing on celebrities,paid off in financial terms too, because advertisers targetedtop-notch broadcasters. Bloomberg CEO Justin Smith noted thatthis was the golden age of new media; over the last five yearsmost of the new brands, particularly those surfacing in NewYork, had seen user numbers go from 0 to 15 million. BuzzFeed,for instance, now had more readers than the Washington Post andNew York Times newspapers. In order not to be 'devoured',traditional media needed to innovate, focus on quality ofcontent, exploit the new technologies and bring in youngertalent. The conference, attended by the top management of someof Italy's leading newspapers, was introduced by the Americanambassador, John Phillips, who stressed the essential role ofjournalism in society. He added that there was a need to faceup to the radical shift in the way publishing companies wereexploring new avenues for generating returns. (AGI) . .