The global media environment is constantly evolving and while at times the changes can feel overwhelming, Earl Wilkinson, International News Media Association executive director and chief executive says Australia is one of the best in the world at adapting.
In his 27 years as INMA CEO, Mr Wilkinson has seen the media environment change drasitcally. From the introduction of the internet, to its complete revolution of the news media space, he has observed what has worked and what has not.
From Mr Wilkinson’s view, Australia is “working”.
“Australian media is on the cutting edge in terms of dealing with disruption, transformation and reinvention,” he says.
“I am looking forward to revisiting some of my assumptions about how they [publishers] are dealing with the digital marketplace. My sense is they are world class, in their own way.
“Fairfax, News, The West Australian, and regional media is strong. There is a wonderful spirit about the market that I hold up around the world.”
Through watching the US, South East Asia and Europe, Australian media owners are able to see what works and synthesis methods with their own innovative ideas, he says.
While acknowledging that each of the country’s major publishers has a different approach to their business models, Mr Wilkinson commends the transition to new media thinking.
On a broader scale, the industry veteran believes the the worldwide market is now in the “audience buisness”. Publishers need to focus on the tools at hand and keep their audiences front of mind. “The need for foundations as opposed to chasing the bright shiny objects of our industry,” he said.
Mr Wilkinson’s session at INFORM will focus on the long-term transformation of news media, touching on fake news, the proliferation of content and the rise of new mediums and platforms.
His appearance at the INFORM News Media Summit will be the first of his self-titled “Noah’s Ark Tour”, lasting 40 days and 40 nights. After checking out Australasia’s news media environment in Melbourne Perth and Auckland, he will set off to Chile, Peru, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Poland.
Other speakers at the INFORM conference include Rachel Botsman, Nicole Sheffield, Chris Janz, Mark Ritson, Jacek Utko
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