How a CXO Will Help Guide the WaPo Newsroom into the Future
The article from Politico relays a recent announcement made by the Washington Post. A new position has been created on the executive team called the “Vice President, Research and Chief Experience Officer (CXO)” to be filled by Laura Evans, who has been with the publication for years. The article then publishes in full the memo that was sent out at the company, explaining the motivation and function behind the new role.
The CEO explicates how the CXO will help the publication coordinate its efforts with the consumer in mind at all times:
“As you know, one of the three foundational elements of our strategy is a relentless focus on the customer. While we all care about the customer and try to advocate for the customer, we do not currently have an executive owner of the customer experience…In a day when we have evolved to a 24/7 news operation publishing on multiple platforms, and when we operate in a hyper-competitive market, the customer must be the primary driver of our product-related decisions and changes.”
This addition to the publication’s hierarchy reinforces some of the themes the readings touched upon such as technological development, a shift to more interactive journalism and user-generated content as well as a breakdown of the wall between the boardroom or financial department and the editorial or journalism department. The position is meant to ensure that there is a smooth transition from the one-way channel of communication to a more interactive, two-way street between the media outlet and its audience. Journalists now face more pressure to not only produce more content that can be readily adapted across multiple platforms, but they also must be cognizant of consumer demands in a way that they have never had to before. Journalists are competing with the endless stream of information from the Internet, whether it is from other professional journalists, bloggers, citizen journalists or parajournalists (e.g. PR specialists, organizations themselves.) The Washington Post hopes to build a competitive edge by adding a CXO to their executive team.
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