Our final episode of Fair & Square for 2022 is a conversation with Charlotte Tobitt, UK editor of Press Gazette. Charlotte discusses recent trends – including the increasing use of complementary social media platforms by newspapers – and the future of UK news media.
Charlotte says news media is increasingly using social platforms for digital storytelling and highlights the recent survey from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the University of Oxford – How Publishers are Learning to Create and Distribute News on TikTok (ox.ac.uk) – which found 81% of British news outlets operated accounts on TikTok. They use the platform for news reporting as well as explaining issues in an accessible form to a wider audience. News media is experimenting with a multitude of different formats to find what works with their audiences and importantly how to monetize them. Charlotte expects the trend to continue as news brands focus on engaging with their audience rather than just reaching them.
Press Gazette – as the industry’s premier trade title – has itself changed from its origins in the 1960s covering just newspapers to now covering a range of news media from papers to broadcaster, publishers and news platforms. Charlotte says this partly reflects that publishers increasingly realise they have to be where the audience is. This is giving rise to new platforms such as Curiously – a social first content brand aimed at 25-34 year old readers from Reach, the UK’s biggest commercial news publisher – and The News Movement founded by former Wall Street Journal publisher Will Lewis and Kamal Ahmed, former BBC editorial director and aimed at delivering ‘trusted’ news to young people.
Charlotte tells our host Adam Batstone the challenges and opportunities for the news industry and gives some insight in to the trends we are likely to see in the year ahead.