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‘Local media should adapt or face extinction’

By Camille Dupire - Sep 13,2018 - Last updated at Sep 13,2018

AMMAN — As the advent of new technologies has been modifying citizens' behaviours towards news, over 63 per cent of citizens in the EMEA region believe that local media should adapt to the changing environment or face extinction, a global survey published on Wednesday by Ogilvy indicated.

In the second half of its 2018 Global Media Influence survey, a copy of which was sent to The Jordan Times, Ogilvy highlighted the recent changes in perception towards the media landscape, saying "consumers have more options than ever before, and whether news is happening next door or across the continent, consumers can be informed with the same ease of access."

In the EMEA region, which included Jordan, Lebanon, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Syria, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, 16 per cent of the respondents stated that they believed local media was "already dying", compared to only 4.4 and 8.7 per cent for respondents in Asia Pacific and North America respectively, the survey showed.

While most respondents across the globe agreed that local media need to change the model to adapt to recent changes, with television being deemed as the most successfultraditional media platform to adapt in an increasingly digital world for 31.4 of all surveyed, opinions towards media mergers and consolidation greatly differed.

In EMEA, where only 15.1 per cent of respondents believed media are more important than ever, an overwhelming 67 per cent of people agreed that media mergers and consolidation would be positive for the industry, as opposed to only 24 per cent in North America.

For Jennifer Risi, Ogilvy’s media influence managing director, "despite what may seem like a daily onslaught, if you look closely there is a glimmer of hope… these challenges also present an opportunity to reinvent local media and redefine the category — and a potential lifeline."

"While the convergence of the digital age, social media and consolidation have changed the game, it’s the players — resourceful, smart, tireless and innovative journalists — who still remain the backbone of the industry," she said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Now in its fifth year, the annual global media survey aims to provide a "go-to" resource for industry leaders from some of the world’s leading journalists on the changing media landscape, the report said. 

Among other findings, the survey outlined streaming services or revived television as the new old media believed to become the leading source of news in five years, according to 42.5 per cent of respondents, followed by feed (headlines) for 38.8 per cent and podcasts for 10.2 per cent.

For Risi, “today, the lines between global, national and local media are increasingly becoming obsolete as consumers have access to an unprecedented wealth of content at their fingertips. Brands that partner with communications experts who know how to navigate today’s media landscape will be in the pole position to drive their own narrative, and thereby mindshare with their key stakeholders.”

"By leaning in on local news and sharing unique, niche content that cannot be found anywhere else, this survey found that local media can continue to play a significant role in reporting the news agenda," she stressed, adding "with an influence-driven model charting the course for the future, perhaps change could be a good thing. In other words, the future for local news may look bright after all — even if that bright future looks different."

Based on a 10-question survey conducted across the North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA regions in 2018, the survey assessed new media strategies in an increasingly digital world, a statement by Ogilvy said, noting that it focused on the sentiments of reporters, editors and producers who cover topics ranging from national news, business, law and human resources, as well as consumer trends, technology, entertainment, politics, healthcare and travel. 

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