All Blog Posts By Topic, Journalism, Writing Tips

Big Ideas in the Future of Journalism

As technology grows, the role of journalism is changing.

Gregg Pascal Zachary, professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, believes journalists must “wear more hats” now than ever to keep ahead of the competition. But with technology flooding the market with information, getting heard above the noise is not an easy task. He presented his research on July 11, 2014, to attendees of the AAN Convention in Nashville, TN.

How Technology is Changing

  • Titans of technology (Facebook, Google, WebTV, Amazon and Apple) will continue to dominate the information landscape—and journalism.
  • Artificial intelligence programs will create automatic narrative stories (written by robots, based off data aggregation).

o   i.e., Quill narrative story platform gives “true insight into data.”

  • Sensors collecting data will be installed across the country. These massive networks will revolutionize reporting, especially on topics regarding traffic, public health, emergencies or air quality in specific neighborhoods, etc.

How Journalism is Changing

  • Titans of journalism, like Time Inc., are dying a public death.
  • No one can go it alone. “Partnerships are the path to sustainability and prosperity…. Partnering requires shared visions and shared practices.”

o   i.e., Toronto’s NOW magazine hosts the Now Music Festival, which receives financial support from local government, and the Omaha Reader offers job fairs for readers.

New Roles of the Journalist

  • Service provider
  • Knowledge creator
  • Professor
  • Private detective
  • Scientist
  • Surveyor
  • And more

Where There’s a (Content) Need and Other Ideas

  • Local is the new global.
  • Craft production is on the rise (from food to furniture.)
  • Specialty reporting (i.e., annual guides or niche publications) is ripe for partnerships and advertising.
  • Think outside the box for revenue ideas.

o   i.e., Have readers pay $25 or win a contest to have dinner with an editor.

o   Launch an intern fund for readers to donate to.

  • Ask readers to help pay to fund an intern to work/study at the publication.

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