Anna Wintour Talks Journalism in the Digital Age

"You can’t cut your way to creativity."

During a speech at the Cannes Lions festival, Condé Nast creative director and Vogue editor Anna Wintour took some time to discuss journalism in the digital age. Below are some highlights.

On keeping media companies afloat:

Finding your way doesn’t mean surviving, just as pleasing an audience doesn’t mean twisting your editorial around search engine optimization and Facebook algorithms. For one thing, everybody is doing that, it’s unimaginative, it’s old hat. For us, creativity means thinking about the lives of our audience and how to connect with them.

On her belief that there is value in high-quality, digital work:

It is true that a lot of people are easily distracted online, as a result, too many of us have given up on digital audiences for ambitious work, and this is a mistake. The circle of weak effort is vicious, creative people in turn spend less time and less energy, making their work less polished. Then we are surprised when audience are distracted? I want to make the case for grander ideas, big investments of time and heft.

On going big:

It would be ridiculous to ignore the speed and possibilities of the digital landscape — you absolutely need to have fast-moving news online, but if you want to build a large audience over time, you absolutely have to take a risk on the big challenging stuff. More than ever, if companies invest in it, effort and attention will pay off. You can’t cut your way to creativity.