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Leaving aside the question of profitability, how are the UAE’s newspapers responding to the demands of online? Are they yet equipped to deliver an online, 24/7 multimedia agenda?
July 6, 2010 4:51 by Rania Habib
Including readers in its online offering is crucial to a news website’s success says Tuqan, and the rise of citizen journalism through the likes of smart phones and social networks has made engagement much easier.
“Readers helping to contribute to news stories is a growing phenomenon,” says Tuqan. “I don’t think kids with iPhones will ever really take the place of journalists, but it’s important for content producers to tap into the power of citizen journalism. This represents an opportunity for content owners, and encourages deeper engagement with readers and more on-site time.”
As for The National’s own journalists, Davies says that many are trained to produce a variety of media, making it easier to push multimedia content. News organizations need to be responsive to consumers’ expectations of news delivered round the clock, “but you’ll find that there’s a debate within news organizations as to who should get the story first: the website, the newspaper, or the television channel,” says Davies.
“The test of maturity of a news organization is when it’s gone past those debates; the important thing is to get the information out there. It seems to me that if you build your brand across different platforms, you’ll have much more impact and more people will read you, so you’ll become a reference for information. It seems foolish to me that if we get a story, and we know it’s exclusive, we don’t put it up on the most relevant platform as fast as possible.”