Opinions & Interviews

The path to the future is based on the innovative media organization potentials

The dilemmas of management and media editors are whether and how to charge contents on digital platforms, are an omnipresent phenomenon as well as in the Serbian media industry. Jurij Giacomelli, the founder and director of the Slovenian consulting company Giacomelli Media (Ljubljana), is strongly convinced that in the near future more and more media will switch to some form of digital content charging.


 In the modern digital age, the media have to change and to adapt, which can be also applied on journalists, editors and media workers, who must also learn almost every day and acquire new skills, which they will use in journalism. What are the necessary skills that management (minority) of modern media has to have?


J. G .: First of all, the management of the modern media house, both editors and journalists today need to know much better the influence of digital technologies on human behavior and especially of the digital platforms themselves (social media) in the sense of communication and socialization. They must monitor the changes, which are happening, in that area and identify new opportunities, that are provided and emanated from bigger participation, better accessibility, distribution priorities, and the instances of digital media, as well as disadvantages and dangers such as “generation gap” and the inferiority of older generations and the phenomenon of “false news”. This is a new field of journalism and publishing for informative media.


Concerning minority media, it is particularly critical to understand the challenge of digitalization for the national communities themselves. Traditional minority media are becoming increasingly “non-obligatory” members of these communities, and on the other hand it has never been easier to reach the public of some (national) community. That is why the media of national minorities are on the big test.


 In Serbia, the national digital online media, in addition to a few exceptions, still do not charge its content, and in minority media there is no word about it. Do You think that this situation is unsustainable and that it has to be changed as well?


J. G .: I am convinced that more and more media, which are coming out on digital platforms, will switch to some new forms of content charging, and this is happening massively. It is clear that the old model of advertising in print media is “dead”. Similarly, happens to the television. We need to keep in mind that this is a complex process, in which different models cohabitate, the old one, the new one, and there is no simple solution. The challenge is not how to “switch” from one state to another, but how to monitor the long-term process, which begins with the application of new knowledge in journalism, in editorial offices, as well as in digital development and in the market part of media organizations. We need to learn, experiment and build the progress step by step. The path to the future is based on the innovative media organization potentials.


The whole world has been affected by the problem of “fake news”, especially on the Internet. How to fight against it, when it comes to the world wide web?


J. G .: Fake news is a necessary consequence of the undermining of journalism in recent years, and the relationship that follows the process of digitalization and changes. It is simply not enough to have Twitter and Facebook, we need journalists, editors, and also it has to be an independent and financially strong media industry. In order to restore all of this, we have to work at all levels. We need a global regulatory framework that will create responsible media from media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, and we need a regulatory framework that will limit the impact of private interests on the media industry. We certainly need good journalists and editors, who will have the capabilities, knowledge and skills to do their job. As we see, we live in a time of profound global changes in this area and only an examination of how to stop the phenomenon of “fake news” is already a signal of a more advanced phase.


Recently, the social network, specifically Facebook, has been experimenting with research and news feeds, and the Serbian media has noted a decline in reach on this network, and some even interpret it as a “media freedom strike”. Is it really so?


J. G.: The fact that Facebook is changing its attitude towards the media is a reflection of their market power, and that only shows how traditional and local media are dependent on Facebook. Of course, that’s not good for them. First and foremost, the Serbian and other media themselves need to build their relevance more proactively by creating and strengthening their digital channels to their public.


The first European conference devoted to minority and local media will be held very soon. It carries innovations in the sense of the experiment: the formation of a minority journalistic network. Can you explain it to us what this is about?


J. G .: Of course. Journalists of the “majority” and “minority” media in Serbia with the support of professors and students of the Faculty of Management from SremskiKarlovci will participate in the conference activities in journalistic articles, interviews and reports in different languages, putting them in meaningful contexts and in cooperation with other present media the event will be transmitted to the public via the most favorable media channels. It is important to contextualize the discussions at the conference. So will conference itself expand its own context and strengthen its reach. It should be noted that the primary idea of minority media network is the communication with minority communities during the work of the project Novi Sad ECC 2021.