ENBA 2018: Experts discuss digital transformation of news in the broadcasting industry

At the recently concluded ENBA awards held in New Delhi, a panel of experts asserted their views on the newsroom's journey from traditional to digital, importance of investment in technology and grappling with the quest for constant innovation in the digital space

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 8:51 AM

Interesting discussions around the newsroom's journey from traditional to digital, importance of investment in technology and grappling with constant innovation in the fast-paced digital arena ensued at the 10th edition of e4m News Broadcasting Awards (ENBA) held in New Delhi on Saturday.  A panel from the news broadcasting industry discussed the 'Digital Transformation of News.'

Speakers for the session were Durga Ragunath, CEO at Indian Express (Digital,) Rajiv Singh, COO at ZEE Media; Salil Kumar, COO at India Today Group Digital; Suparna Singh, CEO- NDTV and Varun Kohli, CEO- iTV Network. The session chair was moderated by Ritu Kapur, Co-founder and CEO, The Quint.

Kapur spoke about how the traditional newsrooms are becoming digital and how the revenue model has completely changed.
Singh cited an example of NDTV and reminisced how the organization had decided to go digital three years ago, which was seen as a risk at the centre. "The mandate of the group was to be on web first. The priority was to break online and then on air because we knew people are accessing us through their phones. Online audience is very different from broadcast audience. For us to be relevant in real time, our keen strategy lies in NDTV.com and not in NDTV 24x7," she said.

Salil Kumar, COO- India Today essayed the paradigm shift within the newsroom.  "Today, editors don't have to look at only one factor, they are looking at multiple forums," he pointed out.
Other aspects that the discussion centered around was on investing in building curative content, technology and capitalizing on the big opportunity that digital is. Search Optimization and Search Marketing defines a big role in terms of creating engagement with the users, asserted Rajiv Singh, COO- Zee News. "There is a need to invest in building the curative content. 80 per cent of consumption today happens on mobile. Our entire front play is to ensure consumers get relevant content through investment in technology," he said.

For an organization which is largely broadcast. now trying to get big in digital is quite a different task. "How different you are, the way you present yourself and how readers understand you, are the keen essentials to remain alive," said Varun Kohli, iTV Network. He also spoke about how the technology for the distribution of information has become easily available, offering more opportunities for media societies in order to reach their audience.

Raghunath, bringing in the journalism point of view, said, "The whole approach of journalism is changing. It is a myth to say digital set-up needs a lot of money. The advantage of digital is that it allows you to be much cheaper and faster than television or print. The pace of digital media doesn't seem to be slowing down. Today, we are in an environment, where you have to come up with innovation every time."

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