Executive Chair of Newsworks Tracy De Groose has said we are at a “critical crossroads” for the news industry.
Speaking at the Society of Editors’ Conference, De Groose argued that digital advertising is broken, despite news readership being at record levels.
The industry has been selling advertising space instead of journalism and as a result papers have lost £1 billion in revenue.
De Groose said: “Newspapers are important. 11 million people read a national newspaper every day. But 19 million people are reading our journalism online.
“That’s around two-thirds of our audience. It’s where our growth in readership is coming from. And that’s where it will continue to come from.”
Now is the perfect time to start getting investment back into journalism, she argued.
Public perception of news brands is on the rise. Edelman’s Trust Barometer showed that trust in established news brands grew from 48% in 2017 to 60% this year.
“People are looking for depth. They are demanding more analysis, news and information from the experts they can trust.
“Journalism matters. Now more than ever,” De Groose said.
She argued that the future of quality digital journalism is looking up however and advertisers are ready to listen to publishers.
“We have to take advantage of this shift. We can’t sit here and expect everything to fall into our laps. We can’t let this opportunity pass us by.
“We are the greatest storytellers. But we haven’t always been great at telling our own story.”
De Groose is committed to acting as a figurehead for this change in industry and next week will go to the United Nations to “make more noise” to help turn the tide of advertising revenue.
She concluded: “Journalism matters. And we want the billion pounds back.”