Reinventing The Wire: News Agencies In The Digital Age

April 3, 2015 • Digital News, Research • by

News agencies can and should respond to the new media and technological environment, according to new research.  In Reinventing the wire: how to prepare for constant disruptions’, Jairo Mejia, a Washington correspondent for the Spanish news agency EFE, reviews the large amount of literature already published in this area, and supplements it with interviews with senior figures at Thomson Reuters, Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse.

The paper focuses on three key questions:

  • Is the corporate culture in news agencies evolving fast enough to keep pace with new industry routines that will enable them to cope with the demands of an internet world in constant change?
  • Is there a common strategy in news agencies to help improve the skill sets of current employees to increase the value of stories and become better news curators in the mobile internet era?
  • What innovative tools are available that will eventually be disruptive for the future of news agencies?

As Jairo, who researched and wrote the paper in while a Journalist Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in 2014 explains, ‘The same forces that are changing the economic paradigms of other sectors will change news-making and news agencies, the basis of quality news production. This research is an attempt to evaluate good practices and new innovative tools that could eventually help news agencies to be more relevant and stay in the front of technologic innovation in the news industry.’

Amongst Jairo’s many conclusions is his view that ‘News agencies will now have to operate somehow like an open-data, open-journalism system, and earn revenues from it.  Publishers are asking for more elaborate news pieces, videos, and visual content, something that news agencies, precisely because of the handling of vast amounts of sources of information they’re involved in, are better positioned to provide.’


view the raw data collected for this study on Jairo’s personal website MuchoLab


pic credit: Flickr Creative Commons: graffitti*is*your*friend 

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