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Huffington Post UK, Wall Street Journal & The Times talks 'New Age of News'

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By Lynn Lester, Managing Director of Live Events

March 25, 2015 | 3 min read

Tragedy struck with the news of the German plane crash in the French Alps yesterday, just as some of the world's best known media brands were preparing to talk at Advertising Week Europe about how news stories are reported on social media first.

#jesuischarlie was used as an illustration of this; where the tragedy was revealed to the world on twitter and generated over 6,000 tweets each minute.

"Everyone has the potential to be a journalist," said Steve Payne, head of planning, insight and research at AOL UK and added "You can be a publisher for news and not just a consumer."

With so much content being user generated online, the question was asked; What is the point of print to media businesses?

"Don't throw the baby out of the bath water, print still brings in the revenue." said John Crowley, digital editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe. And defending the role of print he continued that it brought a "Sober analysis to a subject" and "What print has got is finishibility".

The very fact that newspapers repackage stories that will be of interest to it's audience was still regarded as having a lot of merit and the extra benefit was that it added that layer of authenticity, ensuring the report was factual with proper analysis.

It appears that video has become a major game changer for the news industry. "Video is the new news-wire." commented Stephen Hull, editor-in chief at the Huffington Post UK. This was backed up by Malcolm Coles, director of digital media at the Telegraph, who said "Video is an easy way to consume stuff".

There was a discussion around whether it was ethical to lift content from public social media feeds for eyewitness accounts but the reality is that this is happening anyway.

Facebook also became a focus of the debate, in particular the fact that many publishers are now pushing their content through the platform. It was agreed that Facebook is used for it's audience numbers but certainly not for revenue.

Paywalls and customer loyalty soon cropped up and Joseph Stashko, digital news development editor for TheTimes and The Sunday Times, said "People are more than happy to pay for Netflix, Spotify and a Times subscription".

The discussion was had as part of a panel named 'The New Age of News'.

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