Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Nikkei newspaper (on the right) and Cho Jae-hyun, Gwangju University professor and former MBN CEO who took part as a moderator for discussion, are taking questions from the audience at ‘Media Industry at Inflection Point’ session. [By Han Joo-hyung]
News media must adopt digitalization and globalization while offering quality journalism, which is not an option but a must, to survive the fast-changing world, said Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei (Nihon Keizai Shimbun).
“Paid (journalism) content will be more sought after in the flood of information,” Kita said during a session titled ‘Media Industry at Inflection Point’ at the 18th World Knowledge Forum (WKF) in Seoul on Wednesday. “People have been alerted to fake news more than ever before” as it is getting easier for inaccurate and deceptive news reports to succeed in getting more attention thanks to a plethora of free content through social media, he added.
But this offers an “opportunity” for news media companies, said Kita with an assurance that people will be more willing to pay for news subscriptions in search of reliable, “high-quality news.”
On top of quality content, news media companies should also seek to digitalize its system and go global to survive the fast-changing world, Kita said. Nikkei, Japan’s 142-year-old newspaper, has aggressively sought to digitalize its content and expanding its footprint overseas. Its acquisition of Britain’s national pride, Financial Times, in 2015 has led it to make a great step forward in achieving the goal. The global financial news provider is one of the world’s few newspapers that have succeeded with online subscription as it has nearly 860,000 paid-subscribers across the world.
Kita tipped that Nikkei and Financial Times are currently working on various projects that would create great synergy and boost revenue. One of them is a corporate news service that combines business data such as corporate performance and latest news matching a company of interest, said Kita, adding that the company is also planning to run educational service and employee training programs.
Nikkei has been relentless in its pursuit of digitalizing its news service for a long time. In the 1970s, the company together with International Business Machine (IBM) produced newspaper using a computer for the first time in the world, and Nikkei’s online edition, which began in 2010, now has 550,000 paid subscribers, he said.
The Japanese newspaper has been quick to respond to changing trend in the news media business by digitalizing its service, but it will not give up print newspaper. “Print newspaper will never go away,” said Kita. There are still many customers who prefer to read news on print as there is a large population of elderly readers who find a difficulty in keeping up with digitalization, said Kita adding that print newspaper also allows readers to locate different news at a single glance.
By Park Eun-jin and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]