Newsworks chair 'making a noise' at UN over lost billion

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Don't call journalism content, a term "hijacked by bullshitters, propagandists fakers and the like".

That's the message from the chair of UK newspaper marketing group Newsworks Tracy De Groose.

She told a Society of Editors conference session that lumping quality journalism together with other "content" had led to newsmedia being undersold to the tune of GBP£1 billion (A$1.88 billion).

"On all the metrics that matter to advertisers - growth, trust and demand - we are in great shape, but for all this growth the money still isn't coming our way."

Even with forecasts that online advertising revenue would rise by five per cent this year, the growth was "far from enough" because digital advertising is "broken". She said digital was dominated by an open marketplace in which content had been sold as "one amorphous mass".

Advertisers now found themselves in "this bonkers situation" where they are no longer sure where their advertising is being shown or whether it is being seen by a human. But with advertisers, regulators and politicians "beginning to wake up to all of this", the next phase of digital advertising was looking "significantly brighter" for publishers.

"We have to take advantage of this shift."

De Groose said public trust in news brands and demand for trusted sources of news and information was soaring. "The perception of the news industry is changing - trust is on the rise. According to our research 69 per cent of people say they trust their chosen news brand.

"Edelman's Trust Barometer shows that people's trust in established news brands grew from 48 per cent in 2017 to 60 per cent this year. Compare that to social media where trust languishes at 29 per cent." Six out of ten people said they relied more heavily on established news brands since the rise of fake news.

"We have to take advantage of this shift."

De Groose says she us "committing to be a figurehead for this", flying to the to the United Nations to talk about the digital ad market and the many challenges. "I am going to make more noise in more places to help turn the tide in our direction."

She urged editors to "give our industry the oxygen of publicity it deserves, to get our side of the story out there.

"Because journalism matters. And we want that billion back."

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