Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
2 mins read

Why paying attention to the homepage will pay off

“The homepage is not dead.”

This is what S. Mitra Kalita, the vice president for programming at CNN Digital, told a group of social media specialists in New York recently. Poynter (a world leader in advancing journalism), wanted to explore that more, and reached out to her for a short interview via email.

Here are some key edited takeaways:

Home Page:

“In the rush to get our content on other platforms, let’s not forget about our own…..Our loyal users come to us to be informed, engaged, educated, maybe a little entertained. We owe it to them to keep the experience as vibrant as both the news and the rest of the internet.”

“It would be impossible to value the homepage in a vacuum. We know we are contending with competition from other sites, feeds and platforms. We know there are audiences out there who aren’t among the CNN loyalists. The challenge is to preserve and dominate a core audience even as we leverage the homepage and other platforms to find new users.”

“I guide our thinking among content creators and distributors alike with three key questions: What’s the story? Who is it for? How will we find them?”

Newsletters: “Newsletters are a growth area, but also an area where our programming is more personal and focused on niche. We’re also using email alerts to set up experimentation around news-inspired newsletters; a recent push explaining what the tax bill meant to Americans was especially successful.”

Podcasts: “My relationship with podcasts also has changed. I love “The Daily” (from my friend Michael Barbaro at the NYT). My mood to consume these tends to be more reflective or contemplative, so they are perfect for the commute home.”

Mobile: “Our senior director for mobile regularly encourages us to have content on mobile web for mornings (urgent, newsy); lunchtime (catch up); commute home (deep read, explanatory, analysis). I like that this programming strategy focuses on users, their state of mind and how we might fill a void.”

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