Journalism and the overall media landscape has drastically changed in the past 20 years.
Before, major media outlets were the gatekeepers, today, small sites (like this one here!) have more power and potential than ever before.
While the internet changed everything, it’s likely the real change has only just begun.
So, where is this all headed? To find out more about the future, we spoke with industry insiders and asked the questions:
What’s the future of journalism?
This is what they told us….
Lynn Walsh, National President of the Society of Professional Journalists
“How journalism and news are consumed has changed and will continue to change in the next 10-15 years and beyond. As a journalist and consumer, I think this is exciting. The types of products and way stories are told continue to be more interactive, engaging and easily accessible. I think from a production side, we are going to see more positions that are solely based on technical skills (coding, scraping, etc.) so news organizations can create stories that are more easily consumed by users. I also think we will see more and more long-form and in-depth journalism from journalism organizations in all mediums. I see transparency being a focus for both consumers and journalists, with more linking to original source material so users can see for themselves where the information for the stories is coming from.”
Nikolay Malyarov, CCO at PressReader
“At PressReader, we believe that journalism will thrive over the coming years. Despite oft-lamented challenges like declining print circulation and falling ad revenues, there remains a robust and vital market of people who love good content and really value it. This includes the younger generation – they’re just used to consuming news differently.
It’s all about the business model. What you’ll see more of over the next decade: sponsored access to great journalism. Brands paying for consumers to enjoy premium content, rather than just taking out (often ineffective) ads. In our business, this market is absolutely exploding. Airlines, hotel chains, telcos, banks, and many others are investing in gifting great content to their customers. This is win-win-win: the customer gets the premium content they want without paying for it; the publishers have a lucrative new revenue source; and the brand builds a close, authentic relationship with their customer.”
Dror Ginzberg, Co-founder & CEO of Wochit
“The future of journalism is one where mobile is king, both for the audiences consuming the content and the reporters creating it. Visual storytelling will reign, with most “articles” coming in the form of short “snackable” videos. As for distribution, I expect the emphasis on syndication to continue, so more and more, our stories will be posted and consumed across platforms and networks. Eventually, I believe we’ll see more outlets going syndication only, abandoning their owned and operated properties all together.
I also project we’ll see a lot more mobile journalism, both from professionals and amateurs. This can be a saving grace for budget-strapped newsrooms, as “MoJo” reduces the need for big spends on crews and equipment. It will also help combat cries of “fake news,” because the more potential reporters that are out there, the more likely we’ll be able to see the truth with our own eyes.”
Maura Corbett, CEO and Founder of Glen Echo Group
“Well, I have fear and I have hope. I fear that we’re in the midst of a system failure that could result in relegating journalism to Trivial Pursuit question, replacing news with content, served up, cut up and curated by our AI assistants. I worry that the fundamental freedoms of information and speech–the very foundations of journalism–will become quaint concepts that died off because nobody was willing to pay for them.
And I have hope, because the search for truth and meaning is innate to all of us as human beings, as is our need to express them. So in ten years time, perhaps citizen journalists and local communities will be the new disruptors who will have rebuilt the newsroom from the ashes of alternative facts.”
Leigh Dow, Creative PR, Marketing, & Communications Strategist at 48 West Agency
“We are really interested in where AI is taking journalism. AI has been very useful with data intensive stories, like stock news. But now, AI is being employed to generate more editorial articles. The Washington Post’s Heliograf bot has broken new ground in AI-fueled journalism. Over the next 10 years, we expect AI to advance and generate more reporter tips as well as actual stories. Bots like Heliograf have been reported to also be able to grow niche audiences better than human written content because they can write lots of copy on smaller audience topics. AI will also make newsrooms far more efficient and deliver new monetization opportunities.”
James Nuttall, Content Specialist for It Works
“The future of journalism is not in print; in recent years one of the UK’s biggest newspapers, The Independent, went totally online and abandoned the print medium, and as the circulation figures of newspapers everywhere continue to plummet it’s only a matter of time before more and more publications follow suit.
News desks which once had a staff of 20 people have been reduced to one full-time member of staff, and publications which once had enormous buildings to conduct business are now reduced to one large office.
Video content and online articles are already becoming the most common way for consuming news, and this trend will only go on as technology increases.”