If you ask a 20- year- old today, where she gets her news updates from, you are probably not going to hear newspapers or even television as your answer. Digital media, that's what it is going to be. In line with this growing trend, Ms Prathiba Raman, Editor for Asianet's online portal Newsable, familiarised us with a few pointers on how to create a successful online news outlet and what it means to be the editor of a digital website.
To begin with, she introduced us to how today's generation preferences have changed, they no longer look for serious news while browsing the net or surfing on social media sites. Rather than looking at what the description of the video is, they first look at the headline and the thumbnail. If it is interesting they click on it, if not, that's an opportunity lost for producers of content to capture their audiences' attention. As an Editor, she focuses on creating a news portal that caters mainly to the age group of 20-35. As a result, her team focuses on adding elements of humour in their products (be it video or written piece), which according to her is an essential quality if one has to succeed in attracting an online readership.
Another important element to online production is to keep it short and simple. One to two-minute videos is the focus because anything more than that and "you are likely to lose your viewers". Also, while creating content, keywords play and crucial role. Words that are related to the story should be included, for it generates web traffic. Ms. Prathiba also relayed tactics used by her channel while published unverified content. "When we get hold of any news item that has not been verified, I often let them publish it to generate TRPs, but I make it a point to mention that 'sources are yet to be verified'", she says.
The talk ended with some interesting viewpoints from the students at NSoJ, who interacted with MS. Prathiba to better understand how Newsable works. " In your opinion, do you find your content to be sensationalist, and do you have a problem with that?", asked Rimmi Agarwal. To MS. Prathiba, "In the end, much of it has to with TRP ratings, and Newsable is not a breaking news channel. Rather, it focuses on telling a news story from a different angle, by mixing a bit of humour in what we do. Sometimes negative publicity can be good publicity."
Ms Prathiba talk brought to the table a different yet brutal side of today's news media world. She helped better understand how to succeed while working for the digital media and what one can do to stand out.
Report by Roshan Sageer, NSoJ Bureau