Is news dead? A recap of Edelman Ottawa’s recent panel discussion

G. Crescoli

On Thursday, November 8th, Edelman Ottawa hosted the networking event In Search of Truth & Trust: A Panel Discussion on Canadian Media Trends which was attended by over 50 local communications professionals. The panel, hosted by Edelman National Media Lead Sophie Nadeau, featured leading journalists Susan Delacourt (Toronto Star), Mark Sutcliffe (Rogers TV & Radio), and Hannah Thibedeau (CBC News). Sophie and the panelists shared their perspectives on the trends and challenges in today’s ever-changing media landscape. The diverse range of opinions and experiences made for an engaging and thoughtful discussion. Here are a few things worth noting:

Key Takeaways

News isn’t dead, it’s evolving: 

    - News consumption has shifted
    - Digital-first newsrooms, the push to mobile, and data driven editorial decisions are key
    - Social media is a critical tool in delivering and distributing news.

Ways to stay competitive:

    - News outlets must stay current to attract and retain their audiences
    - Editors constantly track story trends (clicks, views and engagement) on in-house dashboards
    - Journalists must keep finding new ways to connect with their audience (e.g. Video, Facebook Live, etc.)

Trust is vital:

    - Times are challenging for the news business, but journalists are optimistic about the future
    - Trust in journalism has increased from 51% to 61% in the last year
    - Find the right spokesperson to deliver your story
    - According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, Canadians believe an academic expert is 27% more credible than a CEO in a media interview
    - A spokesperson who delivers their information spontaneously is believed to be more truthful by 63% of Canadians

So, how can your organization get the right attention from journalists? The key is telling stories that resonate to an outlet’s target audience and pitching them to the right reporters. Doing your homework on what the reporter has covered in the past and brainstorming pitch angles with teammates is key. Finally, the importance of a strong visual component cannot be overlooked. Being strategic with your approach is guaranteed to help generate the results you’re looking for.