“Journalism has improved over the last 30 years. It’s gotten faster, it’s gotten more analytical, it’s gotten more visual,” noted David Callaway of USA Today. As you sit there reading this article on theodysseyonline.com Callaway's statement comes to fruition, and I agree. But when specifically thinking about the future of journalism I think that the two latter aspects -- analytics and visual -- are most crucial.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t believe the future of journalism is digital, because in this day and age that’s a given. Digital journalism is the present, and it is only inevitable that it will also be the future. However, the future of journalism is more than just its digital nature. The most successful journalists are going to be those who not only know how to broadcast news quickly and accurately, but who know how to keep and connect users. With that, I believe that the future of journalism will be highly analytical and majorly focused on engagement.
As journalism has transitioned to the fast-paced world of breaking news and constant content, it has clearly focused on mastering the art of broadcasting and distribution. This generation is on the go. They are obtaining their news from digital platforms such as tablets, smart phones, and social media apps. While there is still is, and probably always will be, something to say about long-form, feature and investigative journalism, present-day journalists know that society yearns for news in the most efficient way possible. However, distribution will only get journalists so far, because, at this point in journalism, everyone is broadcasting and distributing. It would be close to impossible to name a news station or journalist who does not have a presence on all forms of social media. And, for this reason, the future of journalism will not only focus on pushing out content and gathering page views, but on keeping users interested in their sites -- engaging them, connecting them, and promoting change. Broadcasting, which is simply pushing massive amounts of information out to people, is the now. Connectedness is the future.
With technology at the tips of each of our fingertips there is the common notion that everyone is a journalist. News stations are no longer the first to break many massive news stories. For example, a pedestrian's picture upload to Twitter was how the news regarding the plane crash in the Hudson River broke. In order to keep up with the speed that is demanded by today’s society, many have been willing to put up with inaccuracy in order to get speed. However, the future of journalism will be a market and if you continue to be inaccurate you will fall out of favor, and fall out of the market. In light of this, news platforms and journalists should focus on adding accuracy and multi-media aspects to their content rather than putting a majority of their time and focus on being the first to break the story. It will be crucial for journalists to come up with interesting and creative ways to engage users.
Overall, I believe that the future of journalism is digital and quick -- and I think that most news platforms and journalists are well aware of this. The competition to have the quickest and more accurate news will be fierce, but the competition to have the most engaging news will be even fiercer. In short, digital journalism is moving from a distribution model to a connection one. And that is the future.