The rise of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, allied to the ubiquity of connected mobile phones, has combined to create powerful new networks in which information can be created and shared instantly without the involvement of traditional media gatekeepers like the BBC.
But as newsrooms begin to get to grips with social media, it is only now that boardrooms are getting to grips with the potential disruption to business models. They are struggling to square the circle between using these new powerful open networks to drive traffic and engagement while maximising commercial revenues on their own websites.
In the last week or so, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his vision for the future – one that sees ‘social discovery and curation’ at the heart of everybody’s experience. If the news industry fails to move fast enough – editorially and commercially – that could amount to a deeply challenging prospect for many traditional publishers.