Take 5: Economist Impact's News Sustainability Report
Sam Jo Yeo

Take 5 is a Telum Media series that highlights the top takeaways from the latest media research and developments.

In this episode, we look at Economist Impact's report, News sustainability: Investing in the future of Asia-Pacific's info-ecosystem. The report reflects the findings of two surveys, one of over 2,000 consumers and another of 500 executives, conducted across 12 of Asia-Pacific’s markets.

Joining us to share the key findings are Economist Impact's Manager of Policy and Insights, Naka Kondo, who also edited the report, and Byron Perry, Chair of the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA).

The five main takeaways are:

1. Market sentiment is bullish but many recognise a need for change. 53% of news media executives agree that their organisation's current business model will not be viable in the next five years. (0:41)

2. Innovative business models are required to drive growth. 82% of consumers say that free, independent news is essential to society, but 59% said they do no pay for news. (2:40)

3. Technology is both a disrupter and a vital enabler for the future. While it has lowered the barriers to entry, it has also given rise to fake news and misinformation. Consumers and executives agree that the adoption of new technology will be critical to long-term sustainability. (4:50)

4. Misinformation is costly and a serious threat to news media. Another problem for publications is how to navigate a sustainable commercial model amid digital transformation. (8:27)

5. Diversification is needed for longevity. Media companies should never skimp on quality, or they risk losing their audience. They need to think creatively, adapt to their audience and branch out with more touchpoints. (9:32)

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