7 Predictions of Digital Journalism in 2017
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Politics and Activism

7 Predictions of Digital Journalism in 2017

The Digital Era

7 Predictions of Digital Journalism in 2017
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Digital journalism is not going anywhere, so why not embrace it? Every year the digital world is taking over one step at a time and the year 2017 will be no different. There are equally good and bad things to expect going into 2017, but the most important thing to remember is; there is only up from here. There's no turning back the hands of time and everything about the digital world scares us.

Soon, there will be no need for humans once we reach the robotic period of life. However, until then, this generation needs to not only understand this digital era, but to mold it into something beautiful. Many journalists have been making predictions of 2017 and where the digital era will take us. So, I have created my own predictions of the new year, whether right or wrong these are my predictions. If you haven't figured out your predictions yet, you still have until New Years. 2017 hold a lot of promises to what is to come. I just hope you're ready for them. Here's where I think 2017 is taking us.

1) Content Overload

As predicted by Pam Neely online this will become a problem, as a matter of fact, it already is. Content shock for those who are unfamiliar is what happens when there is more content to consume than there is time or interest to consume it.

If you're still confused this is pretty much what goes on already. Every day, there is news promoted on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. that tells the consumer what should be important. With so much news floating around it's hard to dictate which one is the most important.

Why is this a problem?

For starters, if there are more content to consume how can one promote the content equally. This is basically telling journalists to pick their favorite toy and only play with that one. From a marketing standpoint going into 2017, this can not be a good thing. Although there is a high demand for more content, I don't think this will help. More content means less time to digest news. Meaning as a journalist we have to think for the reader and there's just not enough time in the day for that.

2) Can Platforms Control Social Media?

This is another big one for social media. Throughout the 2016 Presidential Election, social media has been the backbone and served as an outlet for citizens all over to be heard. For social media, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing because not every individual online shares the same political views. And if we open the floor to every voice...well, my friend it may be a bloodbath.

"Facebook is a private company, and it reserves the right to moderate, or censor, any speech on its platform that doesn’t adhere to its Community Standards. Users can flag content they think should be removed, and Facebook’s on-staff content managers will review the post in question and evaluate it, in theory, according to its guidelines," says Anjali Mullany.

While the censorship on most media platforms poses a threat, I don't think social media is ready for this. I understand the need as a citizen to want to voice your opinion, but I don't think this is the way. Something of this caliber is meant for protests such as #BlackLivesMatter Movement, which originated on social media but not for political debates.

3) Stop Disabling Comments And Hit Reply

"It’s time to start bringing in feedback, context, and community to our sites," says Elite Truong.

Well, she got that right. Journalists or even websites for that matter always encourage readers to write comments of criticism and suggestions, but never really respond. I like to call this "Selective Response" and what I mean by this is people only choose a handful of comments to respond to out of the 100 they receive on a daily basis. I think it's time for this to come to an end. Make up your mind websites, either respond to all the comments or none at all.

Now, to respond to all might be asking for too much but your readers would appreciate it in the end. Isn't that the point anyways? To tend to your consumer/reader needs. I think this would make a great soft coverage news story. Almost like a special conducted of worst comments to best comments and the responses to them segment on Saturday Night Live (SNL).

4) The Mobility Era

While, this seems to be in the process already with everything being accessed on mobile devices, is this really it?

I don't think so. I think 2017 can bring it harder than ever making life much easier for everyone. Audio, videos, and many others are already heading down that path. With everything being accessed as an App in the App Store for Apple products and in the Play Store for Android products this can only get bigger. Everything will soon be mobile and not like it is now. Now with certain Apps you cannot access the full website.

Take Facebook for instance, the layout and other features are only available to the user on a desktop version. The mobility of the App limits certain access that many users would appreciate. Plus, not to mention the extra Facebook App for messaging called "Messenger" it's so unnecessary. Two Apps for the same website? Who thought of this?

Apparently, I'm not the only one to feel like this. Journalist Allissa Richardson at Bowie State University believes that one day cellphones will speak truth to power in dynamic ways. What she mean is for all the videos and audios captured on cell phones with in the past year that should have been used as evidence in cases such as the fatal chokehold of New York’s Eric Garner in July 2014, to the fatal shooting of South Carolina’s Walter Scott in April 2015. Ordinary people captured these moments on their cell phones.

5) Secure Every Reader

All over the news there have been threats flying around from social media remarks, statuses, etc. Back in 2013 a documentary was released called "#ChicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes On A Dictator" of a Muslim girl from Facebook Ala'a Basatneh who single handedly used social media to run a revolution in Syria.

The documentary proved how one person can change the world if they put their mind to it. The reason security is on this prediction list is because it's important to protect every single person.

“Mass surveillance, interception, and metadata collection is all around the Internet, and HTTPS is the first step we must take to make our readers feel secure,” says Basile Simon, a journalist at a BBC News Lab.

The young girl was receiving death threats through social media, letters, e-mails. This was a huge hard cover news story that broke in late 2012 before the release of the film. I think this is important because every user should feel safe. So, by moving to HTTPS can provide a first layer to digital news. The Freedom of the Press Foundation’s call to the news industry to switch to HTTPS to “protect the integrity of their content and the privacy of their readers” hasn’t been followed by enough action.

6) Journalism Builds Relationships

This is an important concept to grasp. A relationship is a two-way street and cannot be done with both parties. In journalism it is important to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Hypothetically speaking, that is. A journalist should not just use a source for its own beneficial reason, but should be courteous and understand that that source is a human. Building a relationship with a source can help both parties. It can help a journalist gain a better story and help the source put their thoughts into words.

I think this aspect of journalism has been pushed to the side this year. 2016 has been a chaotic year for journalism with all the police brutality, presidential elections, and social media antics. According to Jan Schaffer of J-Lab future journalists should take note: Journalism as an act of relationship building can create a different value proposition. And it can produce better journalism and more meaningful metrics than journalism as an act of reporting and distribution.

7) Podcasts Become The New Radio

Besides the gossip stations that play in the morning on your way to school or work I think real newsworthy stories should play. Every morning on 105.9, 107.5, 955, and other radio stations they give citizens the news gossip or what Ms. Angela Yee on 107.5 refers to as the "Rumor Report." I don't know when this became so important, because it originated on YouTube for The Breakfast Club Channel. How did gossip become the news we hear every morning?

Unlike many people some don't have the luxury to watch the Channel 7 News or Channel 2 News in the morning and have to resort to radio news. News on the radio should be more meaningful than what's going on with the Kardashian sisters. All I know is 2017 has to do better. The radio has to incorporate more newsworthy stories on these popular stations.

Did I hit every nail on the coffin or what? These are my predictions of the digital era of 2017 and there could be more.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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