The last keynote at ISOJ was Raju Narisetti, managing editor, Wall Street Journal Digital Network
Narisetti said the big challenge faces journalism is turning great content into great experiences
He noted that great content is now available in a wide variety of places. So just having smart content is not enough. Instead, he said, we have to create experiences to engage the user.
We are terrible at turning the multimedia parts of stories into a great experience, said Narisetti. There are words, images, perhaps video. But collectively, they do not make for a great experience
For him, a great experience comes at the intersection of technology and content.
Narisetti said that great experiences will not just come from developers or programmers. Instead we should think about embedding the developers in the newsroom.
“The physical architecture of the newsroom matters a lot,” he said. Titles matter now, he added, as a title will affect how journalists in the newsroom perceive and react to a developer.
In his view, a title like frontend developer or backend developer makes it hard for journalists to relate to the work of developers.
Moreover, Narisetti said the credits matter. He recalled how at the Washington Post, a major project credited the journalists but not the developers.
Looking ahead, Narisetti said we need to consider how projects will live on in the future. Is there a shelf-life? Do we post a note to readers, telling them this database is no longer updated?
We have to maintain the experience, he said, or think of the shelf-life of an experience.
In other words, newsrooms must plan for impermanence.
Talking about journalism education, Narisetti asked how students were being taught about engagement, about metrics, about enhancing loyalty to the brand.
One of the things they are doing the WSJ is thinking about the news as a stream of content. He showed an example of the WSJ live coverage of the Oscars.
The WSJ is doing the same thing with market coverage, to have a stream of news and information.
For Narisetti, it is about finding ways of having readers come back to your journalism and your brand.