One year ago today, the Newspaper Association of America became the News Media Alliance. As I look back on the year, I am very happy about the continuing evolution and growth of the association – and more optimistic than ever about the industry.
The decision to rebrand didn’t come from any desire to run away from the term “newspaper”. It came from an understanding that “newspaper” simply wasn’t big enough to describe the business anymore.
Yes, many of the businesses that I represent can still deliver a wonderful print product to your doorstep everything morning. But they also have massive digital sites and engagement, OTT broadcasts, Facebook feeds, events, VR experiences and so much more. Our mission is to be a voice for the news media industry in all of its forms.
Adam Thomas sums it up best in his Medium piece when he says:
“What is a rebrand? A rebrand is not a new logo, nor a new website. A rebrand is a critical look at ourselves, our audience and our future. It starts with this team and ends up with the question “does this reflect who we are?” If the answer is yes, then we’ve been successful.”
I firmly believe we were successful. The News Media Alliance was the right name at the right time, as the news industry is defined much more by the product — high quality journalism — than how it is delivered.
The last year has been a whirlwind. Since we became the Alliance, we have launched a series of products to better serve our membership. Our members now have access to the latest research in the industry, as well as an exclusive online job board called careerXchange; ideaXchange, a members-only online discussion forum for sharing best practices; and regular webinars and daily email newsletters with information on the latest technology, big stories and advice from experts. They also have access to exclusive events like adXchange, where members can engage directly with a range of major advertisers, and innovationXchange, an elite forum where members share learning and obstacles they face.
Our newest member tool, metricsXchange, offers digital benchmarking with real-time comparisons between markets and publications.
We also actively recruit and welcom digital-only publications to our membership and started conversations with Facebook and Google, advocating for the industry as a whole.
There are continued challenges ahead, but we are optimistic about attracting support from throughout the news media industry as we take on the fights necessary to ensure continued investments in and success for high-quality journalism.
David Chavern is former President & CEO of the News/Media Alliance. Chavern has 30 years of experience in executive strategic and operational roles. Prior to the Alliance, he completed a decade-long tenure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.