Telum Webinar Recap: Future of Journalism in Asia
Sam Jo Yeo

The world of journalism has changed significantly over the past decade. In a recent Telum Media survey, journalists across Asia Pacific believe that social media and digital skills will continue to grow in importance over the next few years. With digital disruption here to stay, what else lies in store for the media?

Telum Media sat down to discuss the future of journalism in Asia with a panel of senior editors: Here are some highlights from the discussion:
  • Journalism's biggest challenges at the moment include changes in technology and audience preferences, preserving editorial integrity and the loss of in-person communication to virtual interaction. (6:22)
  • There is no running away from fact-checking. For publications like Tech Wire Asia, it is the most important way to deal with any form of misinformation and fake news. (11:11)
  • Initium Media's cross-border collaborations ensure that different perspectives and insights are included and, by doing so, serve different audiences. (13:22)
  • For CNBC, the lines between various platforms (from television to social media to digital videos) are increasingly being blurred with cross-promotion and hybrid formats. Employees are also trained to produce content beyond their primary platform. (17:07)
  • Digital disruption is not inherently good or bad - it is how media outlets react and adapt to it that matters. (20:50)
  • It is a myth that in-depth reporting equals long-form stories. It is also about understanding and being relevant to one's audience. (26:12)
  • TikTok is not necessarily a game changer for newsrooms. It is important for media outlets to diversify their traffic drivers and not be overly reliant on a particular platform. (32:15)
  • Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular partly because of their wide span of topics and their convenience. One can multitask while listening and journalists can even get story ideas. (36:56)
  • There is a danger with influencers who give "hot takes" because unlike traditional journalism, there is usually a lack of verification or other opinions. One way forward is for media outlets to facilitate conversations between influencers to better explore the nuances and complexities that come with certain topics. (39:51)
  • Visuals may help boost a story pitch, but ultimately news value and audience impact are key. (42:44)
  • People tend to underestimate the amount of legwork that journalists do. Journalists make a call on which sources to use once they have spoken to enough newsmakers. There is a lot of verification and "triangulation" of sources involved. (46:45)
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) should not affect editorial judgment. It should be an afterthought, not something that dictates editorial content. (55:46)
  • A sense of storytelling, curiosity and passion are among the most important skills for journalists and PR professionals. (59:22)
  • Things to look out for or be wary of going forward include the use of artificial intelligence to churn stories, over-dependence on technology and alienating certain audiences. (1:03:31)

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Telum Media database

  • Victor Loh Guang Rong
  • Aaron Raj
  • Hui Ning
  • Telum Media
    1 contacts
    115 media requests
  • Initium Media
    9 contacts
  • Tech Wire Asia
    4 contacts
    4 media requests
  • CNBC CNBC Digital
    1 media request
  • CNBC CNBC International
    4 contacts
    1 media request

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