Adapting news to the changing world

Ballantine CEO talks to students about embracing digital media

Editor’s note: Seventy students and newspaper or yearbook advisers participated in The Durango Herald’s 17th annual Four Corners Press Day Tuesday at Fort Lewis College. Among other activities, the middle- and high-school students wrote news stories based on a talk by Doug Bennett, the CEO of Ballantine Communication Inc., the parent company of the Cortez Journal. Bennett discussed how media can cultivate a younger audience. This story won first-place honors.

By Rachel Gonzales and Martina Pansze

Animas High School

In the midst of a technological revolution, news is evolving into more than ink.

On Tuesday, Doug Bennett, CEO of Ballantine Communications, presented to a group of blossoming journalists the developments surrounding media. In an increasingly demanding and diverse world, how can news satisfy a younger audience?

The rising generation craves constant communication and connectedness. With each release of a flashier, more efficient device, mobile consumption has become a necessary trend. In the U.S., smart phones have outnumbered feature devices for the first time. Mobile consumption saw an 8 percent increase from 2009, a stark contrast to the 3 percent decrease in print.

The needs of the individual consumer are more easily met in an online or mobile app format. They offer specific and aggregated content catered to the interests of the user.

Although Generation Y is more easily accessed through online content, print is far from dead. It is simply a matter of adapting to the audiences’ preferences.

“We no longer have ink in our blood,” Bennett said of the rising trend in mobile consumption.

However, Bennett believes we should not be concerned with what is dead and what is not dead. After all, the purpose of journalism is to make information accessible. As technology evolves so must the method of broadcasting news.