What’s Next In Multimedia: 4 Questions For Chris Cramer, Reuters’ Global Editor Of Multimedia

Cramer2.jpgNewspapers are dying, magazines are closing and more journalists are finding themselves without paying gigs every day. Everyone is wondering: what does the future hold for the media? We brought the questions to the front lines, asking leaders in the field to tell us: what’s next?

Chris Cramer, the global editor in charge of Reuters’ multimedia initiatives, is working towards transforming the global news organization from a newswire to a multimedia content provider. He gave FishbowlNY a look into some of the projects Reuters has in the works and why the company invested $1 billion in “innovation and next-generation information products” this year.

FishbowlNY:What are some projects you are working on?

Chris Cramer: Among other multimedia initiatives, I am overseeing Project Insider, our new interactive TV experience that delivers personalized financial news and insight — available both live and on-demand — straight to the desktop and mobile devices of our customers around the globe.

This is something no one else is doing and we believe it transforms the viewing experience from a passive, one-way broadcast model into an interactive and powerfully personalized medium. Think narrowcasting rather than broadcasting.

Insider has been developed by some scary smart people inside the company and will leverage exclusive Reuters content and the editorial expertise from our 2,700 journalists around the world, packaged in a way that makes the most sense for our clients. Our programming will include market outlooks, live newsmaker interviews, deep technical analysis and market reactions to important events. We reckon that a combination of Reuters content with targeted content from third party financial information providers will enable our clients to cut through all the noise and clutter of existing financial news programming and receive a single, complete source of information.

The feedback from our clients has been very enthusiastic.

FBNY: How are you keeping Reuters and its content current in the face of ever-changing technology?

Cramer: Reuters is no longer a traditional wire service. It is one of the largest multimedia news agencies in the world. We’re committed to enhancing our news file with considerable investments in commentary and investigative journalism and by melding the work of correspondents into a file that out-smarts the competition. We are a strong and diverse global network with a formidable line up of journalists who are able to make connections that other news organizations don’t have the resources to do.

We are investing now towards repositioning our news for the twenty-first century in an effort to anticipate the future needs of our clients — many of whom are now of the Google/YouTube generation.

FBNY: What are some challenges that you have faced?

Cramer: Thomson Reuters has done a great job of turning challenges into opportunity, especially with regards to our innovation strategy. In my opinion, great companies are defined in challenging times and it takes a great company to have the courage to invest in a tough period. Across the company we are investing a remarkable $1 billion this year in innovation and next-generation information products.

FBNY: What do you think is on the horizon in terms of multimedia content for a news organization like Reuters?

Cramer: Successful news organizations need to constantly evolve to reposition themselves to anticipate the future needs of their media and financial clients. They need high quality content delivered in real time, at the right price. The future is a world with an array of monetization models (subscription, usage, and ad-supported) able to support a range of truly multimedia products. Our clients need information they can customize on a platform of their choosing at the time they desire.