Speaker: Robin Kwong, Newsroom Innovation chief at The Wall Street Journal / Intervenant: Robin Kwong, Chef de l’innovation de la rédaction du Wall Street Journal
The future of journalism is bringing more stories that feature and center around different perspectives. And one of the most under-represented stories today, Robin Kwong says, is that of young people.
Kwong, who just went from being the Head of Digital Delivery at the Financial Times to Newsroom Innovation chief at the Wall Street Journal, says that a digital publication for a young audience is the next big step. Although young people share the need for understanding the world with WSJ and FT readers, these publications still have the readership of an average age of 50.
What would a digital magazine for young people look like? Kwong cites studies that say most young people prefer mobile over desktops, and mostly receive their information through social media. And, at the center of it all, is the desire for a seamless experience.
The WSJ is going to do just that, Kwong announced. The WSJ is planning to launch a new digital publication targeted at a young audience next year. The aim is to bring in a diversity of voices, experiment with new formats, feature under-reported stories and build a community around them.
« Journalism that brings in different disciplines » is also part of the future, Kwong says. One such example is the Uber Game Kwong worked on at the FT. This « choose your own adventure » game was based on real reporting and enabled readers to understand the workings of the gig economy. More than half a million people played the game and spent an average of 30 minutes on it. It was a real success.
The motivation for innovating journalism should not be limited to increasing readership and delivering stories people wouldn’t otherwise read. Long-form promises much more than that, Kwong said. « It helps with emotional understanding. It tells you a bit about the emotional truths of the subjects you encounter. It’s journalism that provides empathy as a service. » That is the future of journalism Kwong wishes to help bring about.