The New Journalism Model: Building a Sustainable Newsroom with FORBES

July 18th, 2013 by Alexandra

FORBES had a problem. One facing every publisher and advertiser out there: The industry’s standard of measurement is the pageview. But the pageview is simply a print metric dropped onto a digital platform. They don’t accurately capture the online reader’s attention…or intention.

SHIFT FOCUS TO “METRICS THAT MATTER”

So they did something about it. They began phasing out the pageview to “focus on [metrics that are] driving meaningful interactions and engagements with their target audience,” as Mark Howard, Senior Vice President of Digital Ad Sales, put it, to create a culture focused on the right kind of data.

A CULTURE OF DATA

FORBES made a change – displaying these new engagement-focused metrics on large screens around the newsroom to “inform, not rule” the journalism of its 1,000+ content contributors. With Chartbeat displayed across the newsroom, each and every writer, editor and contributor could see how many people were reading, commenting on, and tweeting about any article – their own and everyone else’s – in real time. They could use that data to take immediate action to promote, support, and update their content. FORBES closed the data feedback loop.

BUILD AN AUTONOMOUS, DIVERSE NEWSROOM OF EXPERTS

The result? Chartbeat Publishing turned each writer into an analyst, a strategist, a community manager – while also creating a unique, personal brand for each contributor. By constantly watching every writer’s headlines, their traffic performance, the pickups they receive, the social attention they get, these 1000+ content creators built their own discrete journalistic identity while also building a collective, collaborative unit that now drives the FORBES brand.

We’re building what I call the new newsroom. [Now with Chartbeat Publishing, we’re] connecting new editorial management and technology systems for a new model.

– LEWIS DVORKIN, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER, FORBES

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