Former Fairfax regional editorial director, Stuart Howie, launches DIY Newsroom book

Stuart Howie, former editorial director of Fairfax Media’s regional arm and founder of DIY Newsroom, has launched a book aimed to help communications professionals, particularly those in the local government sector, looking to get their message directly to the community.

The announcement:

Launch of The DIY Newsroom book

Councils, government agencies and other enterprises and causes will increasingly rely on distributing their own messaging because of the impact of media fragmentation, says a former editorial director and author of a new book on the subject.

Stuart Howie said the Fairfax Media/Nine merger was causing unrest for local communities already experiencing a contraction in local journalism.

“It pains me as a former editor to watch community journalism trying to sustain itself under a barrage of continued cost cutting, uncertainty and change,” Howie said. A knock-on effect was that councils were eschewing traditional media and doing it themselves.

“A council communications unit cannot possibly replace the independent journalism that is sadly at threat in Australian communities,” Howie said.

“But councils can provide a host of information that was once the bread and butter of outlets like the local paper.

“Smart councils are going into the media business. They are producing newspapers, creating video, distributing e-newsletters and even broadcasting news bulletins.”

“Local government is often maligned. But maybe we are seeing the start of a golden age for councils as they reclaim the village square and reignite the community conversation.”

However, Howie said true engagement would only come from taking a strategic and authentic approach.

In his new book The DIY Newsroom, Howie gives business leaders a manifesto on how to better use their resources for measurable results. For communication professionals, The DIY Newsroom puts method to the madness as organisations fight it out in the Attention Economy.

The book is packed with facts, tips and simple explanations for how to make change. It dissects the operations of the best in the business, including cases studies of the AFL, ANZ, Bupa and Ryman Healthcare.

Howie said the principles and practices of newsrooms represented the perfect communications model. “They are at the top of the content food chain – content is their reason for being.”

Howie is a former editorial director of Fairfax Media’s regional arm of more than 160 newspapers and runs his own communications consultancy, Flame Tree Media.

* Exclusive offer: Mumbrella readers can get 15 per cent off this hardcover book. Go to diynewsroom.com and at checkout use the code DIYMUMBRELLA Offer expires December 31, 2018.

From a DIY Newsroom announcement


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