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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2016

Publishing in a Digital Native World

One of the biggest challenges that we have when explaining how publishers will be affected by the future of media is understanding how the roles have changed. The way we described the media in the past has very little to do with how we will describe media in the future.

I had this very problem just last week. I was writing an article about distribution in a digital native world, in which I was trying to explain how traditional newspapers or magazines should focus on channels such as Facebook. But after having written about 11 pages, I decided to delete.

The reason was that I was coming up with workarounds that didn't fit into the future, rather than focusing on what the future is actually like. And this is a problem we all have, all the time.

Old media is no longer in tune with how digital media works. The way we group old media no longer matches how people behave digitally. The formats that we know no longer fit the models.

In fact, the phrase 'digital media' is wrong. There is no digital media. It's a ridiculous definition, defined to separate it from print media. In other words, digital media is a phrase that we use to relate something to the old world. It's not a phrase that we can use to relate anything to the new world.

So, in this article, I'm going tear down the definitions of the old world, in order for you to realize what the new world of media is actually like.

Format agnostic

The first thing we have to realize is that it's format agnostic by default. The old concept of having newspapers centered around text, magazines mostly formatted around images, radio formatted around voice, and TV formatted around video makes no sense online.

Take a look at your Facebook stream and you will see a mix of every format possible. When people share something, they don't think of this as text, images or something else. They just share it.

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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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