Is the internet killing Journalism?
Today, the majority of our collective public discourse happens online – and too often it feels chaotic at best and toxic at worst. The content we consume is driven by clickbait rather than expertise, and traditional journalistic content cannot keep up with the changing times. Sadly, how we used to define journalism is thought to be dead within the 21st Century, and the data supports our thesis. Our partner Cüneyt Özdemir Media has been gathering data for the past 3 years which showed that only 0.1% of the population followed journalistic content. Worse, the psychographic population that did had almost no variation within them. The data showed extreme retention rates but a decreasing trend in unique visitors.
But this wasn’t the only cultural conundrum. We also saw that the institutions we look to for education, awareness, and accountability were being squeezed dry by too many social media companies acting as middlemen between publishers’ work and the audiences reading and watching that work.
The much-needed change
We dug deep into the reasons why traditional journalism was losing most of its audience to new forms of media. It was obvious that the way we consume content, interact with media and the platforms from which we do this had altered drastically. What needed to be done was a shift in the way we structure and deliver curated content. We know that each audience can now interact with content at their own pace, and content intended for said audiences should be delivered in a format specific to them. We saw a need to re-imagine traditional journalism and figure out a way to cater it to a brand new era.
These findings pushed us to create a content flow and structure that aimed to expand the scope of content shared through the platform. We defined a specific persona of experts to be included as leader figures who would create and curate content for their audience. These designated experts would also mentor other journalists within the structure of the 21st Century.
In order to help expand the psychographic population, we worked on identifying core groups with distinct behaviours when consuming content. Understanding their behaviour allowed us to format content to their liking. We experimented with several programs and formats to better understand the behaviour of our target. Slowly we were able to optimize the process and see some results.
In order to be effective one of our requisites was a system to dictate the type and structure of our content. This way, recurring users would be able to distinguish the type of content they would see with the power of pattern recognition. We also needed a flexible identity that could expand into new services, host a multitude of creative, independent content and expand into new business ventures.
Once the strategy was set, we moved on to telling the story of Cüneyt Özdemir Media with a refreshed identity.
We began with a layout system inspired by the history of journalism and figured out a way to harmonize its language with the way we consume content today. This way, no matter the medium, Cüneyt Özdemir Media would be able to communicate with a clear and concise voice.
To us, the content was always the central focus, thus we devised a typography system that has a unique voice, but never gets in the way of the content. Creating an identity system that could borrow from bold, striking, typographic headline styles of early 20th-century newspapers, but also create striking imagery suitable to the digital age today.
We also devised a new symbol that tells the story of exchange, delivery, and directness. This symbol stands for Cüneyt Özdemir Media, as well as its larger mission to provide expertise-based content, its mission to be objective, and its direct approach to journalism.
In a world driven by data and information, we devised new tools to visualize Cüneyt Özdemir Media’s variety of information-based content, as well as a new system to help them communicate openly and with harmony.
We are going to beat around the bush for a little bit and say both yes, and no. We think the internet is actually killing the traditional notion of journalism. BUT, and this is a big but, if more platforms like Cüneyt Özdemir Media, Medium, Openweb and Aposto emerge to break this thread. we believe we will move towards a new and exciting era of journalism.