Cyna Alderman is the Managing Director of the Daily News Innovation Lab. She conceptualized the Daily News Innovation Lab after working on multiple start-up projects. The Daily News Innovation Lab is bringing in early-stage companies to work on projects to address media industry development needs identified by the Daily News.

cyna aldemanWhere and why did you get the idea for this Innovation lab?

Working with startup companies is something the Daily News has been doing for several years, but it hasn’t been in a very organized programmatic fashion. We have had a lot of success with companies in the past. We met those companies more through luck. For example, Visual Revenue, one of the first companies we worked for was discovered by our Business Development people who met them at a Meetup. They needed space, and we tested their product on our website, while it was still on development.

All of this happened in an uncoordinated way. The combination of seeing the success that we had in the past working with startup companies, and the current atmosphere in media that we need to start experimenting new things, has created an atmosphere in the company where all ideas are welcome. People recognize that things are changing and they want to be a part of the change in our industry. We have so many resources available to us, and we can really help these companies, and they can help us too.

What innovation are you looking for, what do you feel that the media world needs at this time?

We want to start small. We want to offer these companies all the time, attention and support that they need to make sure that they have a very good experience. We would like to reimagine the relationship between the Daily News and the community, rethinking what makes up the news, and how the news is created. For instance, by using data visualization, we could get very interesting news stories.

Innovation Lab Managing Director Cyna Alderman explains the goal of the organization

What do you see behind the term innovation?

The mission statement of the lab is transform media together. We are looking for ways to be a part of this transformative time for the industry. I think of the innovation lab as new ways to approach everything we do and to rethink everything. We recognize that everything is becoming more interactive and participatory.

The goal is to inject these new ideas into our company. I’m hoping that this will be the beginning of the Daily News interacting with the startups community.

What future do you see for the media world?

As more and more people are getting their news digitally, we want to make sure that we are staying with our readers and attracting new readers. We want to stay on top of that.

How do companies like the Daily News work to keep their readers in print and online?

We have a completely different audience in print and online. There is a lot more content on the website than on the paper. There are two home pages on the website, because people who are outside the NY metropolitan area are not interested in the same things. We do speak to our readers differently based on where they are.

What we would like to do is to create the Daily News community and establish that affinity for our digital readers. The feeling of community where people talk about growing up with the daily news is really powerful. We don’t have that same bond with our readers online, and that is what we are trying to do.

Do you collaborate with any French companies?

Absolutely. Those kinds of companies are not candidates for the lab because we are looking for local companies which are here in NY. However, in terms of business development, that would be a great opportunity, because we are conscious that we do not have all of the answers, and we are looking for new perspectives, new ideas. We are looking for companies who think they have solutions for how to transform and accelerate the transformation of the media industry.

My priority is identifying the lab companies and figuring out how to get them working on these development initiatives.