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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - May 2021

How do we define the value of journalism in the future?

This year, I have had several discussions with publishing groups about the trends that impact journalism. I have talked about defining what people pay for, how news fatigue undermines that, how people's reading habits have changed, and more. With most of these trends, one underlying message is that news needs to be more focused on the individual, be more useful, and less negative.

But whenever I talk about this, there are always three questions that come up (or variations thereof). These are:

  1. But isn't it the role of journalism to point out the problems in the world?
  2. Doesn't this make us sound more like activists?
  3. Doesn't focusing on the good things distort reality?

These are all exceptionally good questions, so let's talk about this. In fact, let me seriously challenge the way you think about journalism.

Journalism and all the bad things in the world

Everyone knows that if you go to a newspaper, the front page will overwhelmingly be filled with news about all the bad things in the world. In fact, this focus has become synonymous with journalism itself.

And there are two ways we think about this. One way is that we publish these bad stories to expose them to the public and to hold someone to account for it. The other way is to inform the public.

Let's talk about the first one, exposing bad things to hold those in power to account.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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