Published 2016-05-19

Tinius Trust Annual Report: The Future of Platforms and Independent Journalism

The report presents the latest thought leadership from industry pioneers on the future of journalism, platforms, and whether the two can ever peaceably coexist.

Read the full report here

This year’s Tinius report explains why tech-platforms needs journalistic content to create engagement, to gather data, to fuel the advertising business – and discuss the alternatives: how publishers could innovate or build on their own positions – together.

The Tinius Trust presents the latest thought leadership from industry pioneers regarding the future of journalism, platforms, and whether the two can ever peaceably coexist. “I believe that we are in a defining moment for independent Media and Journalism, and that it is essential to think hard about the future so that we can make the right choices today” says Sindre Østgård, CEO of Tinius Trust.  “I am proud to present unique insight in with very different points of view on these burning topics.”

“This is the real shift in the market: We are no longer defined around a random package. It was never about a shift from print to digital. The real shift is from an old world of formats to the new world of behaviors.” —Thomas Baekdal, media analyst

“Platforms make possible a form of total control. It is therefore crucial to see how platforms are combined, effectively creating media ecosystems.” —Jonas Andersson Schwarz, author and media lecturer, Södertörn University

“Journalism cannot have an impact without a reader or a viewer — but when you grow your audience off platform, what are the implications?” —Cory Haik, Chief Strategy Officer, Mic

In the report, Haik talks of the effects on success metrics caused by the rise of the distributed domain, while Schwarz warns of the unchecked powers of platform capitalism. Baekdal, meanwhile, covers the new reality of media’s shift of focus from format to intent. And Emily Bell looks at the relationship status of Journalism and Platforms (it’s complicated).

“The only way for media organizations to get the most out of data science is to keep questioning, collecting, scrubbing, learning, analyzing, testing, making mistakes, and doing it again.” —Dao Nguyen, Publisher, Buzzfeed

“Forget hits—engagement is what will save journalism in the digital era. So why can’t we measure that instead?” —Adam Kinney, Vice President of Data and Analytics, Schibsted

“In the network economy, vertically integrated industries are being replaced by ecosystems and we must learn to collaborate so that we may prosper within them.” —Jeff Jarvis, author and professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Nguyen shares from her Buzzfeed experience the importance of looking at cross-platform data. Kinney, meanwhile, makes a bold case for a data revolution. And Jarvis makes the case that “mass” media, by its nature, is now doomed to fail.

“Most serious forms of journalism over the years have been sustained by one form or other of subsidy. The reader has seldom in history paid enough to sustain the costly business of broadsheet news. Each generation has challenges to solve.” —Alan Rusbridger, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and former Guardian editor-in-chief

 “A world where nobody can afford local journalists to scrutinize people in power is a world with weaker democracy.” —Darja Isaksson, member of the Swedish Prime Minister’s Innovation council

 “Publishers are left with a simple choice: Either lead the charge to redefine journalism and their products, or become mere content providers for external platforms, making them the de facto publishers of our time.” —Espen Sundve, VP Product Management, Schibsted

Sundve takes a deep look at next-generation publishing products, while Isaksson gives us an outsider’s perspective on media. Alan Rusbridger tackles the economics of independent media (and finds it to be not quite as bleak as most pundits would have you believe). Meanwhile, Jan Helin gives us a 40,000-foot view of the future of journalism (and the forces pushing it there, kicking and screaming all the way), while Kjersti Løken Stavrum shows us how the very concept of a “free press” is a paradox, and Frode Eiletrsen explores an alternate reality publishing service that could—and probably should—be our future.

About Tinius: The Tinius Trust manages the largest block of shares (26.1%) in the Schibsted Media Group through Blommenholm Industrier. The purpose of the trust is to promote Schibsted’s independence and support its long-term development. The trust’s active ownership in Schibsted is built on two interlinked goals: The first is to secure quality and reliability in all Schibsted’s services and products, including free and independent journalism. The second is to work for Schibsted’s healthy, long­term financial growth.

The trust was established by Tinius Nagell­Erichsen in 1996. Schibsted’s chairman Ole Jacob Sunde is also the chairman of the trust’s board. Sindre Østgård is the CEO of the Tinius Trust and Blommenholm Industrier. As a long-term shareholder in Schibsted, the trust works to identify and understand the trends shaping the media business of tomorrow. The trust publishes an annual report in the form of an anthology with contributions from premier international media leaders and thinkers.

The trust further shares its insights on, speaks at important events and host an annual Tinius Trust Summit.

This year’s annual report focuses on “Future Platforms for Independent Journalism” and what it means for publishers and media. You can read the whole report on the Tinius Trust website, where a PDF is also available.