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This week, we saw the release of the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2024, the annual study that drills deep into the most important trends shaping the news industry.

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There was one chapter that really stood out: what news consumers think of user needs - it is the model that the BBC pioneered back in 2016, it was later expanded and adapted by other news organisations. It is a model that helps newsrooms deliver on the needs of their audience to drive deeper engagement.

This chapter found that audiences think not all user needs are served as well as others, and depending how you look at it, this is either an opportunity to improve or further evidence of why trends around news avoidance persist.

In this week's podcast, we speak to two people leading mature user needs strategies: Khalil Cassimally, head of audience insights for The Conversation, and Sarah Marshall, vice president of audience strategy at Conde Nast. The pair explain how they have built their signature user needs models in recent years and whether the findings of the report give them any new pause for thought.

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