This is prompted by a post by Christen DeProto at the ONA web site titled Q&A: What will journalism be like in 10 years? Christen compiled the answers a number of journalists gave when polled at the recent ONA conference, and touched off my own musings on the future of journalism.
Here’s my initial pass at the question. Add any of your own ideas (or reactions to these) to the comments and if this touches off similar musings at your own blog or site, let me know and I’ll post links.
Possibilities for journalism in 10 years time:
The rise of the trusted editor: someone has to wade out into the media flood and trawl it on our behalf. Ten years from now, it won’t just be the mainstream media newsroom that’s providing this service.
Technology changes will make erase the idea of the newsroom specialist: everything that’s difficult or time-consuming to use to help create story — databases, video, audio, etc — will be part of the reporting flow and easy to use. Delivery of story will depend increasingly on the ideas of mix and remix.
Community will build better reporters: specialization will not disappear but will be a matter of depth of knowledge, not grasp of technology. The community that helps the reporter will be much broader than the “experts” and sources of today, and will include interested, engaged, informed reader/contributors.
Exploded newsrooms: there will be many more reporters but fewer of them will work out of much smaller physical newsrooms and many more of them will file directly to the web, without the mediation of an editor.
Redefining news: with the end of the restrictions on time (broadcast) and space (newspaper) and the end of the idea we have to make tough choices of what to cover, the idea of what news is will expand.
The continual story: the idea that the story is a fixed stopping place will seem old-fashioned as stories are not just continually updated, but annotated, tagged, linked and remixed.