At the start of 2014, many people in journalism circles were calling 2014 the year of adaptive journalism. Unfortunately, we haven’t come far enough in adaptive journalism for this year to be named the year of adaptive journalism (yet), but one thing is certain. Adaptive journalism should be a priority for news organizations as well as Authoritative Content publishers.
What is Adaptive Journalism?
Adaptive Journalism is simply a shift in thinking and strategy. It’s a platform-first strategy that understands consumers are viewing more content using mobile devices and dual devices than are using desktop computers alone or printed newspapers and magazines.
Adaptive journalism also prioritizes users.Rather than simply pushing stories out through distribution channels, adaptive journalism matches the storytelling experience with the device and the user. It allows for greater creativity but also requires flexibility, speed, and a willingness to change.
Adaptive Journalism Leverages Personalization and Cross-Pollination
Adaptive journalism is hyper-personalized for the user. A story delivered on a mobile device will be cross-pollinated with other content that is personalized to meet the user’s preferences, interests, location, and more.
The best explanation of this entire process was published on Tumblr by Corey Haik who is the executive producer and senior editor of digital news for The Washington Post. You can follow the preceding link to read her full explanation (which I highly recommend). Among other things, she explains adaptive journalism as follows:
“On your couch watching the Presidential inauguration on TV and pulling up a newspaper site live blog on your phone? Then that newspaper site should give you live blog headlines and some version of a curated social conversation that’s happening as well. Pulling up that same live blog on desktop? Then we should serve you the live streamed video on top. Because chances are you’re not sitting in front of your television. But perhaps if it were in the evening and it were a Presidential debate then it might be different. Because perhaps you want to second-screen with your netbook and you yourself wanted to live blog it? This is where storytelling-by-platform, responsive and adaptive design and good ‘ole programming / day-parting can truly be effective at getting users the best information that is fitted to their environment (time of day, platform, location, etc.).”
Adaptive Journalism Marries Data with Story and Experience
When publishers learn how to effectively marry user data with stories and experiences, they’ll be capable of adaptive journalism. Until then, they’ll continue chasing the right mix but won’t achieve the maximum results. Publishers and news organizations who figure out the perfect recipe will reap the rewards. What’s most surprising is how many major media and brand publishers aren’t pursuing adaptive journalism strategies yet.
What do you think about the adaptive journalism shift? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.