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The future for news publishers: frenemies or cooperative competitors?

by: Nancy Yoshihara |

The provocative question pops up in a new report that evaluates content opportunities for media companies in the fast rising, quick changing world of mobile and social networks.

What’s a publisher to do with the rapid proliferation of platforms to distribute news? That all depends on the publisher’s objectives and context, according to the report, Evaluating Distributed Content in the News Media Ecosystem, by Grzegorz Piechota, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a Polish media executive and published by the International News Media Association.

He provides overviews of the different content platforms, including Facebook Instant Articles, Google, Accelerated Mobil Pages, Apple News, Snapchap Discover, Twitter Moments and Axel Springer’s Upday. But the real work is up to publishers who need to analyze their partnerships and distribution platforms. Toward that end, Piechota provides matrixes designed to help publishers figure all this out.

The report singles out BuzzFeed with its 30 platforms as an extreme benchmark of possibilities but also provides more relatable looks at the Washington Post, Liberation, Agora and Russmedia.

Amid these challenges, the report suggests that publishers collaborate to address technology standards and other issues they face in common. “We need to create transparent fora for having a serious discussion about whether and how news publishers may cooperate with platforms to create new markets, share risks or knowledge, and establish standards," Piechota was quoted as writing in the report by Caroline Scott for journalism.co.uk.

Nancy Yoshihara

Nancy Yoshihara is content manager at KDMC and its website with a focus on News for Digital Innovators and Tools, Tips
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