Steve Adler of Reuters: Not Embracing New Tech Is a ‘Mistake’

[ 0 ] July 11, 2013 |

Reuters is rethinking the way news sources traditionally offer news to readers with the Reuters app. Currently available for the iPhone and iPad, the application is unique in that it, “lets the user come in on a topic they’re interested in and then explore that topic,” says Steve Adler, editor-in-chief of Reuters News and Executive Vice President News of Thomson Reuters. “Rather than starting at the home page, it starts at the article and then it lets you go to related content.”

The Reuters app emulates the habits of typical Internet users, he adds. “It reflects the fact that the Internet and the app user is an active user, not a passive user.”

Watch genConnect catch up with Steve Adler, president of Reuters, at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival to talk about the unique Reuters app, how traditional news outlets need to embrace new technology, and how today’s ‘new professional’ consumes news: 

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While the app was being developed, Reuters researched usage patterns heavily. The “most important finding is that people go to articles, not to home pages, and I think it’s a fiction that old newspaper editors like to hang on to, that the front page is really important.” Their goal in creating this app was to, “build the experience around the way they actually use these devices, not they way we would like them to or might imagine they do,” Adler adds.


Reuters app/Apple store

Reuters has also researched “the new professional” heavily. “What we define as the ‘new professional’ are professionals under 50 who are very different from the prior generation. They’re way more digital, they’re way more interested in participating in community. They’re very aspirational, they see work as something that has to have a purpose, they’re not just doing it to make a living.”

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Adler also noted the importance and relevance of social media as a characteristic that defines the “new professional.” Most new professionals use social media, in some capacity, for their job and that they believe that news that emerges from social media is just as reputable as news from a traditional outlet.

The “new professional” also holds a more positive outlook toward their life and career than the previous generation, and believe that hard work will lead to better lives and results. Adler says the level of optimism changes depending on the sector in which they are involved. “The ‘new professional’ in emerging markets is much more optimistic than the new professional in developed markets. That makes sense because the economies are growing much faster,” he added.

The attitudes held by the new professional are mostly generational or divided by industry. But the world we live in is so highly connected that these beliefs are being passed down to younger generations, no matter what the industry.

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By acknowledging a change in the way people consume media, Reuters plans to stay at the forefront of the digital news frontier; the reluctance to abandon an old technology simply because it’s effective at the moment will hurt any organization, Adler says.

“I think, with new technology, it’s a huge mistake to not embrace it.”

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013

Profile photo of Steve Adler

About Steve Adler: Stephen J. Adler is Editor-in-Chief of Reuters News and Executive Vice President News of Thomson Reuters, where he directs the editorial operations and news strategy for the company. Adler joined Thomson Reuters in January 2010 [...]
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