12 things to learn from News Impact Summit Cardiff

The final session at News Impact Summit Cardiff extracted 12 key things you can take away from the discussions through the day.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Liveblogged notes from the closing sessions, that are standing between me and the post-summit drinks.

Something we should start doing:

  1. Internal culture change - better internal communications. Think of your news organisations a business not just a newsroom.
  2. Proactively seek contact with readers and members - go out to where people are. Do it online - and through face to face events. You need an element of humilitya dn respect towards readers to establish a healthy relationship.
  3. Engage with community on thier terms and in the paces where they feel comfortable. That coversation will help you undertsand why they don't enagge, and will invite them to do so. Β 
  4. Start asking yourself better questions: What do people care about - what do I care about - and where do they collide? We need to start making your own data about audience interest. But don't expect anything to immediatly change - it doesn't matter. Keep listening.

What should we stop?

  1. Stop parachuting in and out of communities - you lose trust. Consistently show up; that's how you build trust.
  2. Figure out the right level of democracy - and be very wary of opening up the day-to-day editorial decision making. Let them feed into the strategic direction over time.
  3. Stop think that you have to do everything. You are an indiviudla with a life and other responsibilities - other people in the community can particpiate in this process, as it benefits them.
  4. The issue of time comes up all the time. The only way to bring back time is to stop doing the things that don't matter to your audience. Stop and think about the investment of your time.

What should we continue?

  1. Strategic planning - look at all the things that need to happen over a longer period of time. What social impact do you want to make? Is your internal process supporting that?
  2. Continue to ask who your readers are. However much digital data you have, focus groups can aid your understanding. Have you defined your own value sin a way that you can communicate?
  3. Stay open; open to being challenged; being open to being part of a more plural discussion. It's easy to slip into your news bubble.
  4. Stay open to the outcome of a story - don't come in with a fixed idea of how it ends - or even when it ends. Many narratives are on-going - let the conversations keep going!
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.