Main trend of DME and Newscamp: Reader focused journalism

10 May 2017
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Reader focused journalism was the topic that stood out at both the Digital Media Europe 2017 in Copenhagen and the Newscamp in Augsburg. A more content driven approach for journalists while relying on technology and intelligent systems to do the rest. 

We picked three keynotes from the events that emphasize this trend.

Newscamp – Augsburg

The Newscamp brought together an intimate group of 400 people from publishers and digital experts in Augsburg. With keynotes by Fredric Káren, Editor in Chief of Svenska Dagbladet, Micah Gelman, Director of Video at the Washington Post, or Daniel Weilar, CEO of Nyheter 24, international speakers complemented the strong discussions on stage and in the workshops. Host of the event, Augsburg based Newsfactory, gave insight into mobile trends and Digital Consultant, Gregor Waller re-defines customer relationships for sustainable growth.

Svenska Dagbladet puts an Algorithm in charge

Fredric Káren, Editor in Chief of Svenska Dagbladet, decided to put an algorithm in charge of the composition of their website after many quarters of subscriber losses. They had to rethink their strategy completely. 

“Be more efficient with your content. Focus on story creation, let the algorithm do the curation”

Articles are now ranked according to their assigned “news value”, their “lifetime” and a combination of click numbers and reader behavior. The algorithm then places the articles on their designated position. Svenska Dagbladet also differentiates between “news junkies”, “updaters”, “deep readers”, “business readers” and “weekend leisures”. 

Fredric Káren’s 5 key success factors:

  • Clear strategy: offer products for your lost print subscribers
  • Invest in tech & analysis: experiment and play around
  • Build a digital culture: building a digital business means building new habits
  • Believe in data: measure, adapt, repeat!
  • Quality journalism: stay focused on your content, technology facilitates good journalism

But Fredric Káren’s number 1 advice: “Start charging Money for your Online-Content”

The value of 1 Hard-Core User represents 5.400 Fly-Bys!


Gregor Waller of Digital Age Consulting, is a digital expert on the German market and spoke about the relevant audience. Step back from reach and focus on your loyal readers. He segments users and highlights the ones to focus on. 14% of users (Regular, Fans and Hard-Cores) make up 78% of traffic. 

  1. Fly-Bys
  2. Occasional Users
  3. Regular Users 
  4. Fans
  5. Hard-Cores

This number alone shows where publishers need to focus. He also stressed the importance of moving from customer contact to a customer relationship. 

“Without premium products and a conversion strategy there is no sustainable revenue for quality journalism.”

It is critical to establish reader habits early. The more visits per week readers pay to your website the less likely they are to churn. Which means that publishers need to understand to move from a culture that praises reach to a culture that puts the customer in the center.


Understand how readers interact with topics

“You can have less page views and more revenue”

Stefan Plöchinger from Süddeutsche Zeitung spoke at the DME about the necessity of being data informed to understand how readers interact with different topics. Süddeutsche Zeitung has had a prominent focus on revenue generation through subscriptions in the past 2 years which has proven to be successful. A large element of their success was implementing agile methods for editorial processes in the newsroom. 

Advantage goes to double loop learners who constantly adapt.

  1. MEASURE: Observe and Predict
  2. LEARN : Theorise
  3. BUILD: Experiment 

Leveraging correct tools and metrics helped Süddeutsche Zeitung expand their product offering with re-bundled content and increase the quality delivered to readers. 


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