Think Tank

News Media Gets Expert Advice, Workshops to Boost Product Development

Product development has become critical for news media, but keeping up with advances can be complicated when the products may include newsletters, mobile apps, chat bots, project and event sites, and endless other formats.

Gone are the days when the newspaper was the only product. Today, building expertise in a rapidly expanding portfolio of digital media is essential for the future of news organizations. To help, New World Encounters is providing a series of online events and workshops throughout November to help media houses deepen their knowledge and skills to create innovative and profitable products quickly.

The series will examine best practices from top media and product development experts on mobile strategies and products, customer engagement and product development, local media product development, and more.

“Digital product development requires a set of skills not traditionally found in newsrooms, and product development is quite new,” said Ioana Sträter, managing partner of QuestiQ, a partner in New World Encounters. “We hope this series will help news companies develop products that contribute both to the journalistic mission and to increasing revenue.”

David Sallinen, founder of Upgrade Media, the other New World Encounters partner, added: “Many newsrooms are creating the new position of product manager to drives the organization’s commitment to innovation and digital culture. Product development has rapidly become a critical function, working within and alongside the newsroom.”

The series begins on November 2 with a 90-minute webinar providing an overview of product development strategies and practices, followed by focused workshops each Tuesday for the rest of the month.

The webinar will feature:

— Keynote speaker Julia Shalet, known as the Product Doctor and award-winning author of “The Really Good Idea Test”, who will talk about the importance of testing before investing;

 Kara Chiles, Vice President of Consumer Products for Gannett, USA, who is responsible for the product portfolio of more than 360 news markets, covering websites, newsletters, video, audio, infrastructure, content management systems, data, and asset management;

Max Franke, Managing Director, Axel Springer Audio, who will talk about the company’s new Team Audio initiative, which aims to drive the audio business of Axel Springer across all media brands;

Dmitry Shishkin, a digital transformation & content strategy expert, who will speak about the importance of the users need approach for news;

Lianne Kerlin, a Senior Research Scientist at the BBC, who leads the BBC’s human values team that works on putting audiences’ core values at the heart of shaping future media services;

– And  Edward Roussel, Head of Digital, The Times and The Sunday Times, who will speak about visual journalism, live coverage and carefully thought-through distribution.

The deep-dive workshops to follow the webinar, every Tuesday in November, will deal with leadership and management skills, best practices in digital product development, finding and developing the right people with the right skills, and more.

Full details and registration information can be found at

New World Encounters is a joint community organized by Upgrade Media and QuestiQ to connect people, companies and organizations across borders and industries around specific, current themes, with physical, virtual and hybrid encounters. NWE aims to break through fixed patterns, creating room for new solutions in the new digital media world we are all creating. To learn more about New World Encounters, contact David Sallinen.

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