We have been a newspaper since 1830 soon to be 200 years and the oldest newspaper still published is Post- och Inrikes Tidningar and it goes back to Axel Oxenstierna in 1645. Just to give an history on how long we have been writing articles and how they have evolved to what it is today. An article usually consist of Headline, Lead paragraph, Body and Byline.
It is an effective way of doing printed journalism, and has been for a very long time now. But I would claim it is unlikely we have that structure of the content in the coming years. The reason being that it is not the best experience of learning about a story in a digital world. What is the best experience then? well that is of course a very tuff question, and my answer is it depends on the story, user and the device.
I sometimes do a session with reporters and ask them, how would you like to present your story if it just going to be read on an mobile divice? Then I start getting really interesting answers. Often ideas on how to integrate short video clips or sound tracks that can create a rich story. One would question, why we not focus on That more?
Sits like Buzzfeed among others present content in a powerful way for a mobile users, they are able to do that since they create a new behavior. Obviously you can look at new media initiative like Circa, Al Jazeeras AJ+ and Yahoos News Digest that create content with a mobile first perspective.
It is inspiring in many ways and Aftonbladet needs to evolve in that direction.
We are very lucky to be considered the primary news source in Sweden online. That means we have a very large group of users with different ages, backgrounds and so on that visit us every single day. And all relate to Aftonbladet as their newspaper. That is fantastic but also challenging, because every one have their opinion on what the best experience to read Aftonbladet is. And it is also a matter of context, location, time to spend, network speed etc.
What we can do is to define different target groups and situations and build functions, products and create content that maps to them.
Coming from a users perspective we have a mobile behavior, the mobile is by far the biggest channel we have.
That means we have a very strong behavior on how people consume Aftonbladet and they choose the mobile in most cases. But I knew we have very passionate readers especially for the paper but also people that love desktop and tablet.
But should we really present a story in the same way for all the platforms, users and contexts?
One story in three different ways
When I speak with reporters they say that approximately 3/4 of the time of creating a story is research, and 1/4 to actually write it. I know this is not applicable to all stories this is just an example. Imagine if the reporter could write the story in two or three different ways, for example:
- Long form
- List form
Very likely the story would reach out to more people, and that is the purpose of everything right?