Reaching the Audience in a Fragmented Media Landscape

What do today's journalists have to know about listening to the crowd? And how do they break through the information overload to reach the public?

Moderator: Andrew Golis, Editor of Blogs, Yahoo!

Bill Adair, Founder,
Ted Anthony, Assistant Managing Editor, The Associated Press
Rachel Davis Mersey, Assistant Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
Jack Wakshlag, Chief Research Officer, Turner Broadcasting System

Panel Highlights 

Now that journalists have been forced out of their ivory towers by the interactive nature of the Web, they must learn to interpret the clicks and comments of the crowd and use that data to engage and expand their audiences.

Golis: What are the new models for audience and what are the organizing principals that are determining how audiences bundle online?

Adair: "I thinks it's interests....geography is a lot less relevant so now you're seeing things pop up like our site Politifact, which is a national site run by a regional newspaper--the St. Petersburg Times... we have significant audience that goes well beyond the borders of Florida."

Anthony:  "Audiences have always self-defined, but we didn't know about it, we just weren't able to measure it. Now that we have the data to hear what these audiences are saying through clicks and ideally now through their comments, we can develop products based on that rather than simply assuming which was ultimately one of the things that started nailing us in the industry."

Mersey:  "People are choosing media to be better at all [their] different social identities. I believe journalists now need to be in the business of creating and curating content by knowing who's on the other end."

Wakshlag:  "You go beyond whether people want to see what it is they happen to agree with today... For us it about giving people stuff to talk about and it's about giving them things they think make them smarter."