BLOG published on 14 Feb 2019

YLE: To Inform, Educate, Entertain and… well, that’s still it?

For this month's blog on digital transformation among our Members we asked Mika Rahkonen, Head of Strategy at Yle for his Top 6 wishes for 2019.

Mika is currently drafting and defining the key building blocks of Yle’s next big strategy round. Previously he was responsible for development of new services, programmes and strategy for Yle News and Current Affairs. Mika has also led the newsroom as a managing editor in Yle News, and before that he worked 10 years in the business news dept. 

 I wish that public service media figures out if Informing, Educating and Entertaining is still enough.

I hope public service media re-thinks its core mission – now that some of the companies are nearing their 100th birthday.

Then again, to inform, educate and entertain doesn’t sound all that bad after 100 years, does it?

But if public service media was invented now, in the digital age, what would be its basic idea? Would it still be to inform, educate and entertain? Sounds a bit top-down? Would innovation be the fourth pillar? Inclusiveness? Surely something on meaningful interaction? What else? Why? I hope the smartest minds in public service media attack this question with everything they’ve got.

I wish Contribution To Society makes a triumphant comeback for public service media goals.

I hope public service media starts using impact / creating value and contributing to society as a key goal setting toolkit more widely.

What kind of positive change does public service media help make happen?

Contribution to society is a perfect goal.

It plays right into the core of our existence, sets us apart and underlines our sense of purpose.

Also, I have a dream that measuring how that value is created becomes less of a nightmare and / or rocket science than it is now.

I wish public service media starts to define what meaningful interaction is – besides just comments sections.

In a lot of media companies, interaction means pretty much that the company lets its audience comment on its content – whether it’s news stories, tv drama, talk shows, whatever.

Then the company turns its back and happily starts minding its own business.
A lot of energy is spent on, frankly, secondary issues like how this commenting is actually done, what gets published and, wait, is that a curse word right there and why did the algorithm miss that?

I wish that in 2019 public service media will step up and start thinking what is it that they actually want out of interaction and how they start making that happen.

I wish transparency was more than just a buzzword

I hope more newsrooms finally start to understand that “How was this story was made” is not enough for transparency, is mostly not even the right question and, well, nobody outside newsrooms even cares.

A much better question is “WHY was this story made?”, and I hope to see media companies explain that much more in 2019.

I wish content – not just tech – people wake up to artificial intelligence

For now it very much seems that the technical viewpoint is overwhelmingly dominant in AI-related conversations and presentations.

This sadly reminds me of several other examples (www, social media, mobile etc.)where content professionals were far too slow to react to a big technical change or think what this means to them.

I hope that in 2019 we start seeing consumers’ / audiences’ point of view in plain language: why should they care about this AI project? How is AI good for them? What’s the end product in AI operations? How does what we do with AI make their lives easier / better?

I wish that our strategies become shorter, sweeter and more simple.