Communicate, Connect, Innovate

The Washington Post's Digital Strategy

13 June 2014

Concha Catalan @conchacatalan

On a very intense second day at the GEN Summit, most of us followed Cory Haik, Executive Producer and Senior Editor, inside The Washington Post’s digital strategy. ‘The correlation between social media, in particular twitter, and our mobile traffic is total,’ she stressed.

During the 18-day US Government shutdown in 2013, the Post created an app to ask mobile users how intensely it was affecting them and, thanks to geolocalization, the results were mapped. They also experimented using Google Glass at the White House correspondents' dinner and sharing content via snapchat.

‘Readers’ needs are different if they are at the airport or on the couch,’ said Haik. Social media, mostly used on mobiles, play an essential role, too. ‘Part of my job is to take the conversations that are happening, summarize them and reflect on that,’ she added

The paper -shouldn’t we maybe start to call them something else?-, calls its approach adaptive journalism because it is about ‘creating news specifically by device and by platform.’ And a good example is their mobile-first story about the missing Malaysian airliner last spring.

‘The average smartphone user checks it 150 times a day,’ said Matt Kelly, Chairman of the GEN Summit, during one of the sessions he ran. If this is one of the rare occasions when you are not on your phone, switch to it now and enjoy scrolling down at The depth of the problem

Other highlights of the day were speeches about increasing media control by third parties, by Dan Gilmor, Digital Media Professor at Arizona State University, and 'Why do we believe anything governments say?' by vehement Seymour Hersh, journalist and author at The New Yorker. 

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