As anyone working in the news industry today knows, publishers face numerous challenges across a number of areas from editorial concerns to trying to transition businesses from print to digital and grow revenues, but at the heart of most of these challenges is finding better ways to connect with and engage audiences.

Further complicating matters is the increasing generational digital gap between younger users and those who are middle aged and older.
Listen to your users
How do we solve these challenges? There’s no easy answer, but listening to your users is essential, said Stenberg during his welcome address to the audience at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Europe event, which is taking place in person and at Schibsted’s (and VG’s) headquarters in Oslo, Norway.

However, Stenberg noted that when talking with users, it’s essential to remember that those who are sitting in front of you are likely thinking very differently from you. And these differences might mean you are not even able to ask them the right questions.

For example, he noted that at 40, he doesn’t consider himself especially old, he nevertheless has a very different technology view and vocabulary from his teenaged son. “Smart TVs” or “flatscreens,” to those in their middle years, are just “TVs” and screens for those in their teens and twenties who have never experienced older versions. More crucially, these are not just different words but represent different ways of thinking.

Stenberg also described an ex…

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