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‘Digital focus’ as Society of Editors reveals conference line-up

A ‘digital focus’ is planned for this year’s Society of Editors’ conference after the event’s keynote speakers were revealed.

The year’s biggest annual media gathering will take place in Carlisle on 17 and 18 October, where the agenda at the ‘Back in Business’ themed event will focus on the resilience and skill of the best of British media.

Confirmed regional press speakers include David Higgerson, digital publishing director at Trinity Mirror Regionals, Ian Murray, editor of the Southern Daily Echo, Joy Yates, editorial director of Johnston Press North East and Nick Turner, digital strategy manager at the CN Group.

They will be joined by Matt Cooke, head of Google News Lab, Malcolm Coles, director of digital media at Telegraph Media Group, Rachel Oldroyd, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Darren Sher, head of product for Trinity Mirror and media consultant Sue Ryan.


Delegates will hear about the digital news initiative (DNI), a collaboration between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism.

Trinity Mirror’s ‘Perspecs’ project, a news aggregation app that aims to show three perspectives to every story, will also be among the topics discussed.

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: “The Google News Labs is renowned for providing lessons designed to help journalists learn the best ways to use Google tools for reporting and storytelling and we are delighted to provide a session as an added benefit of the conference for the first time.

“Digital innovation is at the heart of newsroom strategies up and down the country and delegates will hear first-hand the experiences of the Google DNI Fund’s UK recipients.

“The conference will also include updates on the Society’s vital campaigning work on behalf of the media.

“The political maelstrom of the last couple of weeks may require a bit of tweaking of the programme as a new Prime Minister takes over.”

For more information or to book a place, email [email protected].


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  • July 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

    All very well but nowhere in this piece can i see any mention of the elephant in the room;freefalling newspaper sales.
    Whilst the future is being hailed as digital and whilst there are free news sites recieving decent reader/visitor numbers there appears to be a complete turn away from traditional newspapers in the printed form,something commonly accepted yet completely ignored by this gathering.

    This can only mean either the soc of editors accepts losing sales week after week month after month,quarter after quarter as a given that cannot be reversed ,or theyre hoping for some,as yet unseen digital commercial enterprise to be unleashed which will monetise the digital side of the industry,or it could just be theyre in complete denial of the true state the regional press is in in the uk.
    Either way so far no ones making a success of digital news sites and certainly none have found a way to make sufficient revenues to sustain the industry in the future
    surely there are more pressing and prevalent basic issues to contend with and to discuss and debate other than a focus on digital which to date has failed to take off and shows no sign of ever doing so.

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  • July 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Archie’s right. I’ve just been in a meeting about moving over to a digital newsroom. As someone pointed out, this is the way it has to go given the rapid decline of paper (one corporation has seen print ad revenues slide 17% in the first six months of this year alone!). True: but it’s a fallacy trumpeting ‘digital first’ when the revenues generated will not sustain a corporate model (look at The Guardian, for example). Digital may work if purveyed by small, agile, fit-for-purpose outfits (though even these have failed) in conjunction with a paper/magazine. But it’s no good hailing 21st century technology while hanging on to 19th century business models. Corporates are dinosaurs and digital cannot save them from extinction. Plan accordingly.

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