What Challenges Do Today’s News Websites Face?
Brands and agencies with journalistic credentials have been responsible for delivering information about current events and local happenings since the emergence of news itself. These entities have adapted over time to conform to a variety of changes, including the emergence of the internet and digital information.
Yet perhaps one of the most disruptive situations in the history of news is the nature of search engines and social media. With information now spreading at the speed of light, people are looking for news in a variety of different ways. This has created several challenges for news outlets and traditional media websites.
As such, let’s examine what challenges news websites must overcome in order to remain relevant.
Search Engine Revamping How Info Is Collected
Now more than ever, search engines are seeking to compete with other platforms – particularly social media – that streamline the flow of information. For many search results these days, finding the answers to questions doesn’t even require the user to click on a particular website. For the most part, news websites have been immune to this, as they are pinging users with breaking stories and detailed descriptions that can’t be truncated with full context.
However, search engines are beginning to target news-related SERPs and provide short blurbs in select query-based results. Additionally, search engines such as Bing and Google are increasingly narrowing the number of news websites that can compete in each specific search result by displaying 2 or 3 prime results in the top position of search.
Social Media Is Disrupting the Flow of Info
Without a doubt, many news websites have felt the pressure of social media on their methods of operations in the past few years. Fundamentally, social media has accelerated the reach of content while simultaneously making it more difficult to reach audiences. How can this be?
Given how quickly stories can spread through social media, even smaller and more local news articles can quickly garner attention from all over the country or even the world. At the same time, more media outlets – both traditional and otherwise – competing in the world of social media means there is simply more competition. News websites are having to adjust to this reality, which makes social media arguably the most disruptive trend for news websites today.
A Lack of Trust in Media
Another huge challenge that news websites are having to face is a declining level of trust among audiences in the media itself. While it may depend on exactly where and how a news website operates within the wide world of news, more traditional news websites are struggling due to a lack of trust and a continued “siloing” of news preferences (where individuals only consume information from sources that match their existing beliefs).
At the same time, this has allowed for unprecedented opportunities in the world of less traditional media, with amateur journalists and even faux news outlets to rise. Particularly due to the social media dynamic previously mentioned, pinging users with even untrustworthy news content is easier than ever in many respects.
These challenges are important in understanding just how much pressure news websites are currently facing. Whether it be search engines, social media or shifting attitudes for how news is portrayed, adaptation will be the key for any and all news platforms to continue remaining viable in the coming years.