Fairfax Newspaper Editors Are Now Listening To Their Readers

Fairfax Newspaper Editors Are Now Listening To Their Readers
SHARE
THIS



Gone are the days of newspaper editors telling people what they should read.

Sean Aylmer, Fairfax Media publisher, says much like the rest of the media, the consumer is now in control.

“It’s really hard, it’s a really big cultural change for us,” Aylmer told a group of marketing bosses and media buyers at Sydney’s Mindshare Unlocks: Native event, a joint presentation by media agency Mindshare and Fairfax Media.

The audience, Aylmer conceded, now has complete control over who, what, when and where they get information. “The biggest change now is we really have to listen to the audience,” said Aylmer. “Our job is to be there for them.”

Aylmer acknowledged the days when print newspapers set the agenda for consumers and other forms of media such as TV and radio, but says those days are long gone.

“It’s becoming clear that there’s no excuse not to listen to the audience,” he said.

While Fairfax continues to base its business model on quality journalism, it is also important for the publisher to give the readers what they want.

“Does everyone know Blake Garvey? He’s my favourite dickhead,” Aylmer asked the audience, referencing the star of Ten’s most recent series of The Bachelor.

Following the show’s final episode, four of the top five stories on smh.com.au were about Garvey and the show. “It went off. It was fantastic. We love The Bachelor,” said Aylmer. “Our traffic was enormous. You might think it’s odd that SMH would do a story on The Bachelor but it worked because SMH, as a brand, is a trusted one.”

Aylmer went as far as to say he’d like to crown Garvey ‘Fairfax Editorial’s Man of The Year’.

The publisher said it’s possible for Fairfax to cover less “worthy” stories like The Bachelor, and even become the authority on such topics, because of the serious reporting offered in addition to such lighter fare.

“Quality journalism can be in any form so long as people want it. We must remember that,” said Aylmer. “It’s really important we have all sorts of stories including the really worthy ones.”

In feeding the continuing demand for content, Fairfax is looking outside its newsroom and is open to native advertising.

“Quality journalism doesn’t always come from us. We think we know everything, but in actual fact we don’t. There are lots of organisations who give content to us, which is high quality, that our readers want,” said Aylmer.

“We will soon be getting content, not from the New York Times, but from third parties we previously never thought about. So long as it’s quality and we’re not fooling anybody, I’m okay with that,” said Aylmer. “I do not want to say ‘This is coming from us’ when it’s coming from someone else.”

Aylmer also shared statistics around audience growth on mobile and tablet devices.

“The growth in mobile and tablets is ferocious,” he said. This surge is currently driving when and where content is distributed across the Fairfax network.

“We put stories in places where we think people will want them at a certain time of day. That represents year-on-year growth in mobile and tablet. As a result, we just want to be there.”

With all of this digital growth, are newspapers dead? Aylmer said his opinion on the matter is irrelevant.

“It is such a redundant question. It’s actually what the audience thinks. While there’s an audience for newspapers, we will be there. Whenever there’s an audience for mobile, tablet, desktop or whatever’s next, we’ll be there.”

He added that print newspapers continue to have gravitas with the audience that reads often “older and more important” than Aylmer himself.

“Have you ever seen Tony Abbott wave a smart phone around in Parliament? No, he gets the Fin Review,” said Aylmer.

Please login with linkedin to comment

ADMA Advertising Standards Bureau Creative Pitch Herald Sun progammatic video Project Clever Buoy RTB Save the Arctic SoDA The Daily Telegraph

Latest News

Medallia Appoints Heather Paterson As ANZ Country Manager
  • Advertising

Medallia Appoints Heather Paterson As ANZ Country Manager

Medallia has appointed Heather Paterson as its new ANZ country manager to drive further growth across Australia and New Zealand. With a strong sales performance and leadership background, Paterson joins Medallia as ANZ country manager following more than seven years with leading SaaS financial technology provider, Intralinks, where she was most recently director for Asia […]

Spikes Asia Brings Spikes Awards Forward To February 2021
  • Media

Spikes Asia Brings Spikes Awards Forward To February 2021

Spikes Asia today announces that the 2021 awards will take place in February, bringing them forward to the first quarter of the year. Judging for the Spikes Asia Awards, the region’s most prestigious creative branded communications accolade, as well as the Tangrams Awards and Young Spikes competitions will all take place in February 2021. In […]

Finalists In Round One Of 2020 Australian Effie Awards Announced
  • Advertising

Finalists In Round One Of 2020 Australian Effie Awards Announced

Following a rigorous round of online judging by 133 industry experts, The Communications Council today announced that 88 finalists from 24 agencies on behalf of 36 clients have made it into Round Two of the Australian Effie Awards. Finalists will now compete for Effies, Australia’s only awards based on proven advertising effectiveness – across 26 […]

IAS And Channel Factory ‘Channel Science’
  • Technology

IAS And Channel Factory ‘Channel Science’

Integral Ad Science (IAS) today announced the launch of “Channel Science”, an industry-leading partnership between Channel Factory and IAS. The Channel Science solution helps advertisers to leverage both companies’ technologies through a single product to ensure their YouTube campaigns are brand-safe, brand-suitable, and performance-optimized.  More than ever before, advertisers are searching for ways to streamline their media buying and improve […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Launches Secrets & Lies Podcast Series
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Launches Secrets & Lies Podcast Series

WPP AUNZ has launched its inaugural podcast series, led by WPP AUNZ Chief Strategy Officer, Rose Herceg (pictured).  The podcast series will focus on the company’s recent thought leadership study: Secrets & Lies Chapter 4, Humanity & the Machine. Aired over the next few weeks, each discussion will take a deep dive into exploring the role […]

Playing
  • Technology

Google Presses Play On Programmatic Audio

If CV-19's given us anything, it's more podcasts than you could listen to in 1000 lifetimes. Monetise yours with this.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Melbourne, Australia - July 26, 2018: Homeless man sits in front of Westpac bank in Melbourne Australia
  • Technology

Westpac Group Partners With Verizon Media DSP For Omnichannel Solution

Westpac Group today announced it has partnered with Verizon Media’s Omnichannel DSP across its entire brand portfolio including Westpac Bank, St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and Bank of South Australia. The new partnership gives Westpac Group access to Verizon Media’s end-to-end strategic marketing and planning capabilities including: first-party data based audience insights; full-service omnichannel […]

Adobe Analytics Adds Mobile App
  • Technology

Adobe Analytics Adds Mobile App

If there's anything to be said about the Adobe company, it doesn't sit on it laurels. Discover its latest gizmo here.

Nova Cuts 70 Employees Amid Pandemic
  • Media

Nova Cuts 70 Employees Amid Pandemic

All B&T will say here is, whoever decided having Szechuan bat for dinner was a good idea has a LOT to answer for.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Major Stars Including Kerri-Anne Kennerley & Tim Bailey To Go As 10 Announces Major Restructure
  • Media

Major Stars Including Kerri-Anne Kennerley & Tim Bailey To Go As 10 Announces Major Restructure

Network 10 is set to undergo a massive restructure, leaving a number of high-profile journalists out of a job, including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling and Tim Bailey, B&T understands. As first reported on The Sydney Morning Herald, the restructure was announced to staff on Tuesday. As part of the restructuring, the presentation of the weekday […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Get Out Of A Cashflow Crisis
  • Opinion

How To Get Out Of A Cashflow Crisis

Here's top tips on getting out of a cashflow crisis that don't include robbing the kids' moneyboxes or a 7-Eleven store.