The future of journalism will be more social & entrepreneurial
With the business models of traditional news media in free fall, it’s a precarious time for journalism. Earlier this month I did an hourlong video chat with a class of journalism students at the USC Annenberg School and told them how much I admired their willingness to tackle journalism as a career even as everything we know about journalism and news is changing.
On Friday I gave a talk at NewComm Forum (NewComm as in New Communications), the annual gathering of communications, marketing, PR and new media thinkers in San Mateo, Calif. You’ll find it on Slideshare.net (embedded above) under the title, “Social and Entrepreneurial: The paths to the new journalism.”
Everything about news and journalism is changing: the way it’s produced, the way it’s distributed, the way we consume it, the idea of who’s a trusted news provider, the conventions of journalism and what “news” itself means.
As someone who still practices journalism (see: this blog) but left newspaper journalism in the late ’90s, my work as a social media strategist and years in Silicon Valley startups leave me saddened about the fate of newspapers — I estimate that 500 daily newspapers, most of them mid-size metros, will go out of business in the next five years. At the same time, journalism is being reinvigorated by a new generation of journalists and publications, many of them small but deeply passionate about the topics they cover.
They’ll be the ones who give shape to the new new news.
You’ll notice that the title of this post refers to “paths,” because the future will involve thousands of experiments and brave new ways of doing journalism, far from the one-size-fits-all era that is now ending (go to J-school, start out at a local daily, join a bigger metro newspaper, etc.). Continue reading