Society of Publishers in Asia assesses the changing media landscape

The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), in cooperation with Bloomberg, recently organised an insightful panel discussion on the dynamics of successfully navigating the evolving media landscape, as part of its Media Insiders Series in Hong Kong. Entitled “Effectively navigating the changing media landscape: Insights from the publishing and PR industries,” the event featured a panel of renowned journalists and communications specialists.

From Yumiko Ono, The Wall Street Journal’s Asia digital editor, to Anjali Kapoor, head of digital for Bloomberg Media in Asia, to and Damien Ryan, managing director of Ryan Communication, the panel was well equipped to discuss the recent challenges in today’s ever-changing media scene.

Highlighting some of the key changes in the media industry, Anjali Kapoor said, “The two things I’ve noticed changing over the past few years when looking at the newsroom are technology and culture. How do you tell stories in a different way versus just text? How do you do it visually? How do you engage people? How do you talk to people on a daily basis?”

Ms. Kapoor also spoke enthusiastically about the rising prevalence of mobile as a platform. “Mobile isn’t about a device in your hand. It’s about people just wanting to access information anytime, anyplace. You’re trying to get into the mind-set of that person, whether he’s standing in line for a coffee or commuting on the train and you’re trying to talk to an audience on a daily basis and take away a part of their time to engage in a story or a video or a text or a photo gallery. I think the exciting thing about journalism is that the way you tell stories has changed, in some ways for the better,” she said.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, has begun experimenting with the use of virtual reality in its videos, Yumiko Ono said. “I think it’s interesting to think of ourselves as a connector of our readers as well as a provider of information.”

The need for journalists and media professionals to be open to and embrace different platforms to reach and engage an audience has meant a change in mentality in the newsroom. Damien Ryan said, “Ultimately, to be successful, you need to respect a couple of things. One is the deadline, two is the headline. If you can do that and embrace the platforms – Twitter, Facebook – then you’ve got a really successful career. It’s not about age. It’s about mentality and culture.”