The news industry is in the grip of “Shiny Things Syndrome,” an obsessive pursuit of tech along with a lack of a clear strategy, a new study says.

The “relentless high-speed pursuit of technology-driven innovation could be almost as dangerous as stagnation,” says the study, titled “Time to step away from the ‘bright, shiny things’? Towards a sustainable model of journalism innovation in an era of perpetual change.”

The research comes from the Journalism Innovation Project at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. Julie Posetti, leader of the Journalism Innovation Project, authored the study. Posetti had worked as head of digital editorial capability at Fairfax Media (Australia and New Zealand) and held reporting roles with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Saying the industry has a “focus problem,” the study recommends a shift by news publishers from being “technology-led to audience-focused and technology-empowered.”

The study counsels against abandoning innovation altogether, acknowledging that innovation has been essential in journalism’s digital transformation.

The study emerged from discussions with 39 global journalism innovators representing 27 news publishers across 17 countries, the study says. 

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