Moderated by Ticky Fullerton (Sky News), this panel featured Lenore Taylor (The Guardian), Anthony de Ceglie (The West Australian), Kate de Brito (News.com.au) and James Chessell (Nine).
Taylor described the mood in the newsroom as “cautiously hopeful”, despite challenges in developing sustainable revenue models and other industry challenges.
“We have to make sure that trust is not eroded,” she said.
“We have to be quite conscious of the danger of terms like “fake news” that are being used. We have to stand up for what we do.”
She also highlighted the need to look at diversity as more than just gender quotas.
“Having diversity in the newsroom is really important for telling stories. Not just ethnic diversity, but also diversity in socio-economic status.”
James Chessell highlighted the role that news media publications play in the world today as sources of quality and reliable information.
“They’re coming to us for news, analysis and journalism they can’t get elsewhere,” he said.
“The mastheads that have done well are the ones that readers have a relationship with and feel that those mastheads stand for something.”
He also advocated for exposing readers to a diversity of viewpoints.
“At the end of the day, readers appreciate journalism that will challenge them. They don’t want to be told what to think. At the same time you need something that readers can relate to.”
Anthony de Ceglie described the challenges of attracting paying subscribers to news media products, and the need to continue to think outside the metro areas.
“There is a threat in newsrooms of becoming too city-focused, too twitter-focused, he said”
He also talked at length on the need for increased self-advocacy within the industry.
“We’re our own worst enemies, we’ve talked down newspapers. In contrast, Google and Facebook have done a good job of saying how powerful they are. We need to start talking ourselves up again”
“They say that people don’t trust the media, but when you talk to them, they do.”
Kate de Brito spoke to this, saying ““We do have trust, what we don’t have is attention, and it’s a crowded marketplace.”
Alluding to the disruption of the industry caused by the growth of the digital platforms, she described how “we’ve now got new players creating and distributing the news.”
And on the role of technology in journalism and news curation, “[Artificial intelligence] will never replace the inmate curiosity and investigations that happen in journalism.”