Media world gathers in Berlin

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budi_berlin2013More than 8,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors are attending the three-day World Publishing Expo –the leading exhibition for technology to publish news on tablets, mobile, in print and online– in Berlin, Germany.

The event, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) started on Monday. “As a city buzzing with innovative enterprises, Berlin is the perfect place to hold this event-packed fair,” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA.

I am coming over here –with my colleage Jimmi Kembaren– as representatives of The Jakarta Post Digital, digital wing of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s most influential English newspaper. [This is my third times visiting Berlin, by the way :-)]

Ken Doctor, author and media analyst,  said, “We’re on the  brink of mobile majority. 33% of news traffic comes from mobile. ” According to him, 2014-2016 is about selling more stuff from digital marketing, commercial storytelling, new paid reader products, etc. “We may get closer to Netflix for News… Think Flipboard and so on. ”

Is publishing a sustainable business model? “Thats what we are all thinking about, ” said Mathias Döpfner, CEO, Axel Springer. “If the question related to print the answer is ‘no’. If we add in digital platforms the answer is ‘perhaps’.” Printed paper will survive, he emphasized, but it’s not going to grow. “So need to focus on new distribution channels.”

20131009_114008Tablet presence is one of the new approaches. According to Mario Garcia, CEO and Founder, García Media, USA, tablet readers  want three things: news updates, curated content, and PDFs of the print edition.  He also gives some secret recipes for a successful app: storytelling; navigation; the look and feel of the app; and pop-ups and let people explore content.

The point is, we need to try. “Don’t just think and do nothing, ” said Andrew Miller, CEO, Guardian, “people didn’t know about BuzzFeed a couple of years ago.” He said, “It’s not about saving newspapers, it’s about protecting and growing journalism.”

That’s why, according to Raju Narisetti, senior VP and deputy head of strategy at News Corp in NY, it’s time to rethink about newsrooms. “Newsrooms didn’t change for a long time and now they are “scrambling”. News will have to go to readers, he said, instead of they have to come to us. “Great journalism matters, but it can’t just be about great content. We must be able to offer a great experience with the content. Journalists must be able to bring people to the journalism,” he added.

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