Money talks | Media viability | DW | 20.01.2016
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Media viability

Money talks

Media organizations around the world are searching for new revenue sources. Since often the best lessons are in miscalculations, #mediadev collected real-life stories of times when things didn’t go to plan.

Can you imagine how boring life would be if we succeeded at everything we did, if we never had to respond to dynamic situations or unanticipated interruptions? We are socially programmed to think that failure is a bad thing. However, sometimes the best lessons are in those precise mistakes or miscalculations that don’t bring about the expected results. Against the background of emerging global trends, new technologies, and rapidly changing communication environments, media organizations around the world are constantly searching for sustainable revenue sources. For all of us it is vital to exchange mutual challenges and learn from each other.

Here is a real-life story from a media outlet in the field that could easily happen to any of us as we try to pursue new ways for media viability:

It takes many elements to create a successful and sustainable media outlet, and one of the essential features is people. We like to think that individuals are motivated by more than money and we are often espoused this mantra.

Imagine you are a small and established newspaper. Your newspaper is making money. You have a strong and diverse readership that is engaged with your content. Then a new newspaper comes onto the market but you aren’t too concerned because you know that you have a loyal customer base and you know your audience. When all of a sudden you start receiving resignation letters from your staff and before you know it, 90% of your employees are leaving because they have been poached by this rival paper. The only benefit they have been offered is higher salaries – but they have all taken them and fled the building. You are left with 10% of your personnel and no way to mass recruit trained media professionals needed to keep the newspaper alive. In the short term, you try to struggle on and train new staff but in the end you are forced to close down the newspaper even though it was a commercial success. It simply isn’t possible to operate without the human resources in place.

more flops

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