News Corp.'s Narisetti: Media outlets confront change on all sides

NEW YORK: Media companies are dealing with rapid change in terms of the number of competitors they face and the types of content they produce, said News Corp. SVP of strategy Raju Narisetti at the PRWeek Conference in New York.

NEW YORK: Media companies are dealing with rapid change in terms of the number of competitors they face and the types of content they produce, said News Corp. SVP of strategy Raju Narisetti on Tuesday morning at the PRWeek Conference in New York.

With household-name consumer brands now creating their own content with teams of former journalists in-house, media outlets have to concern themselves with a range of competitors far beyond their traditional rivals, he explained.

“The number of choices our readers have has dramatically increased,” he said, noting that his company's Wall Street Journal no longer only has to worry about readers switching to the Financial Times or another business media outlet.

He also weighed in on The New York Times' decision to run an op-ed last week by Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying that while he can't speak for The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, he would have also taken the opinion piece.

Narisetti also noted that media outlets dabbling in sponsored content is a concern for many journalists who grew up in an era of a strict church-state divide, though he added that “I don't think that any of the advertisers we deal with are saying, ‘We want to confuse the reader.'”

“Technology has made journalism not just the end point, but a part of the conversation,” he explained, adding that his company does not allow reporters or editors to write content for brands.

Narisetti also said that media outlets need to quickly prioritize mobile in the next three to five years as more readers make it their primary point of contact with news organizations, adding that while his company has about 1,800 journalists, its mobile team has only a handful of staffers. 

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