Where Does The Future of The News Lie?

With all the new technologies at our fingertips today, what direction is the news taking? The general answer seems to be whatever gets the news to us the quickest.

The newspaper is one of the oldest forms of mass media, and it is still circulating today. Print media, however, is on the decline. This blog titled 2011 State of the Media, tells us the number of newspapers that have went out of business in 2009 and 2010 — which were approximately 300 and 151 respectively. With a clear trend in figures it seems pretty clear that newspaper publications are a thing of the past; and the Washington Post agrees.

So where is news heading?

Each new technology brings a quicker, more convenient way to get news. So it seems clear that the future of the news is digital. But which branch of digital news will prevail? This publication details the social media aspect of the news currently. While evidence in this article still points to online news outlets as being the number one source of digital news, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly on the rise.

In communications there is a term called “information snacking” (the link is just a wikipedia page if you want a little background on info snacking). Basically the theory just says people want media quickly and they want it from a variety of sites. In my opinion this theory is becoming more relevant with new, faster technologies. In turn, I also think this supports social media in becoming more relevant in the future of the news. Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly the quickest ways to get lots of information from a number of different people.

The above paragraph reflects my answer to the question; so what is your opinion? What branch of digital media will become the future of the news? Or does the future of the news lie elsewhere? Can you see a new technology being developed within the next decade that makes online media seemingly obsolete? (much like online media is currently doing to print media). The question is currently very open ended, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the issue.

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About bfranks

I have two arms and two legs.

9 Responses to “Where Does The Future of The News Lie?”

  1. Interesting post, and this is a really good discussion. Something I’ve been struggling with is how much newspapers are a need, and how much they are a luxury, or even a waste of time and money. There are new technologies that take over old ones all the time, and isn’t it best simply to embrace the change and make the most of new technologies? While newspapers have been a big part of many cultures, it seems as though they are becoming irrelevant. Is that okay, though? I don’t know, but I think we’ll be seeing more and more annarbor.com situations happening all over because of the readiness of internet and connectivity.

  2. Nice post. I still love reading the newspaper, but it is definitely a fading industry. It is hard to tell what the future will bring in terms of new technology for news. All of the social media hubs we use today were a huge advancement and kind of “weird” to everyone just several years ago. The next technology might seem odd or foreign at first, too, but we will adapt to it and find it our norm again. As the Internet is pretty much the most advanced form of communication we have now, I predict in the future–the near future, at least, Twitter, Facebook, and other web sites will add features, and new sites will be created.
    Being able to “snack” on the news from these sites is so easy and convenient, but it may be leading to more uninformed people. As the newspapers are going out of business and no longer being delivered to homes that once received them, and web sites are becoming a predominant source of news, staying informed is evolving into a task that relies on one’s intrinsic motivation and personal action to go find the news, instead of it being delivered to them.
    My group’s Knight News Challenge idea, PocketNews, is free tissue package with a bit of news and a QR code to take the consumer to the bigger sites, like NewYorkTimes.com, to explore deeper into the news. It combines the old form of the print newspaper delivered right to the consumer with the new form of surfing the web with your personal tastes and curiosities. If this was to be produced, it could be the future of the news! Something that combines the two elements of the past and the current is what my group brainstormed for the future. A new element for getting the news, something not seen before, would be even more interesting.

  3. This is a really interesting topic! I had never heard of info snacking but it makes so much sense put in this context! I agree that the future of news seems to be digital in some way, though it’s hard to say which. I never though of the question in terms of quickness though. Based on that idea, that people want to get their news in the quickest and most convenient way possible, it seems like mobile media will be the future of news. It does beg the question though, is news a need or a luxury, as Peter was saying. I personally don’t know how to answer that question. In some sense, it’s a need, because many issues in the news affect everyone, such as weather and safety issues. However, if I really think about it, most of the issues reported on the news (besides weather!) have no effect on my daily life. The news rarely affects my day-to-day decisions, and when it does, it’s a fleeting influence. So I think to answer the question of what is the future of news, we need to ask first, is news a luxury or a necessity?

  4. Hi Barrett, great post. I enjoy reading about the future of news, because frankly, it is an issue that concerns everyone. Like the comment I made to Emilia’s post, I have to agree with the Washington Post that print publications are becoming a thing of the past. Personally, I would never trade the quality and symbolism of print publication for the accessibility and convenience of online media, but I do accept that online is the way that all media seems to be heading in.

    In response to your questions, I have a strong feeling that social media will become the primary medium of news circulation and origination. The reason why I feel like social media will take over the current hierarchical media corporations is that social media introduces something called ‘participatory journalism’, that refers to individuals playing an active role in the collecting, reporting, sorting, analyzing and disseminating of news and information, as opposed to an institution, and began in the late 1980’s. Unlike the way that news was formerly structured, and the way it is still somewhat structured now, albeit not as prominently, the nature social media makes it so that individuals have a role in producing, editing and circulating news. This is such an important function for humans because as a collective, we have always had a problem with hierarchical structures or institutions that claim to be bigger and better than we are. Every time we are posed with unwavering, all-powerful institutions, we seem to find ways to remove them (e.g. the former European monarchies) or work around them. Because of social media, we now have a voice and depending on how clever we are with it, a voice that can be more powerful than that of the established media. Look at how popular tumblr users, twitter users, instagram users, are for spreading news.

    This is the way I see news going. I’m kind of hesitant about these changes but I have also accepted, for a long time now, that these changes are inevitable. Can’t wait to read what you guys think about this issue!

    Until next time,
    Neil

  5. Interesting post! I agree that the future of news is digital. I think it’s more accessible and convenient than print publications. I know I get most of my news the Internet anyways. I ‘m sure that in the next few years we’ll see an even greater decline in traditional publications, as social media sites become more predominant sources of news.

    Although I primarily rely on digital news websites for information, a significant portion of the news I read does come from Facebook. I just “like” my favorite news sites’ Facebook pages, and then I get a constant stream of updates in my newsfeed. The best part is that I can pick and choose what I want to read and not waste my time on something I don’t care about. With Facebook, I can get access to news sources that best represent my interests.

    I think some people would agree with me that customizing the kinds of news one receives is more preferable than being bombarded with information that is irrelevant. Therefore, I think social media sites will continue to grow as news sources because they give you control over what you want read. We could also witness an increase in specialized news sites that are dedicated to specific topics.

  6. Although I am regretful to admit it, I also believe that the future of news is entirely based on the internet. While social media, such as Twitter, will likely take a large role, I think that news will be delivered through more direct methods such as text messages. Alerts will be sent to phones, resulting in immediate knowledge. What kind of news that reaches the reader, however, will most likely be filtered according to the readers preference. On one hand, I think that being able to filter the news is good because it can help someone eliminate untrustworthy news sources and help focus on certain topics of interest. On the other hand, I feel that our ability to filter the news we get prohibits us from learning about important events that are going on. Sometimes it is necessary for us to be introduced to information that we might not find interesting or important at the time, but will benefit us in the long run.

  7. By the look of things now, I think social media is so versatile that it will overpower news sources in the future. I am not fond of the idea but people like convenience and Facebook and Twitter provide entertainment and news in the same place. Looking into the future, I don’t see anything right now that will be as effective as the Internet to replace news. Most of our world is shifting into an “online” mode and it fits the current lifestyle really well.

    I also see an issue with this shift. There are still people and places all over the world that cannot access Internet and technology. If news begins to shift away from print and television in smaller, rural areas, then people will not be able to access news. This can be considered a negative aspect of technology.

  8. I agree with Peter that it might be time for newspapers to “get with the times” (So many puns possible there!). I’m no longer saving my work on floppy discs and yet newspapers – the paper version – have not changed too much since first introduced other than maybe the way the paper is made. While I’ll always enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of picturing a paper boy happily throwing newspapers onto doorsteps while riding his/her bike, I think that the practice might need to move forward and keep up with technological advances. I had high hopes for tablets, kindle’s, and smartphones to pick up where papers left off, but after seeing those figures that Barrett posted, I’m disappointed. I suppose social media will be our main source of news now, after all I already get all my news from Twitter, but I also still want a site, like annarbor.com or similar, to check the facts and confirm that what I’m seeing on Twitter is factual. How do we know if what are friends and followers are posting is factual?
    Great post!

  9. Although the printed medium is becoming less relevant and quickly, the credibility and interactivity it brings will be a form great aspirations for all other new and upcoming news forms. While yes, I’m certain the internet and the interwide web will be the vehicle to its audience, news platforms will be able to compile more and get the best of both worlds! The accessibility brings a comparative advantage that printed sources cannot. I have a dream of news one day communicating with each other in a forum / news feed or similar experience. If one is able to personalize and subscribe to certain news sources that appeal to them, and a variety, we can become a better informed society. If news sources present their own views and write individually there will be a beautiful collaborative space to satisfy our needs. If sources, journalists, and media can interact with each other, dialogues and discourses can be brought further to the forefront of our attention. Individuals can produced masterful and influential pieces but think what can be done if groups of people collaborate, or even just voice a multitude of perspectives in journalistic form!

    Well done, Barrett!

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