I attended a workshop this morning entitled: “The Future of Journalism: Is Journalism a Sustainable Business Model?” I attended this workshop mainly because I’m mainly just doing freelance work right now, so if I’m ever fortunate enough to find a full time job in a newsroom again, I’m curious to know what that news organization will have to do to ensure it’s able to keep its employees.
The short answer is that there is not one specific model that works. The long-term solution will be a myriad of models that uses a combination of the following:
- User generated content
- Social media
- Digital products
- Pay walls
- Micro payments (in which the online reader pays to view one article)
“Innovation” is a vague term, but what it comes down to is providing content to readers/viewers that is shown in a new way — a way that keeps people engaged. News organizations cannot do things how they’ve done it in the past and hope to succeed.
In terms of newspapers, they are operating on a model that was developed 400 years ago. Today, it’s important to get readers involved through dialogue rather than just providing the news of the day.
Television news stations, meanwhile, would be wise to look at a new style of newscast.
According to the panel of speakers, the media is going through a major technological change. It’s not clear how people will be using media in the future, so making predictions now is unwise because nobody knows exactly how things will play out.
I have to admit that I left this workshop with more questions about the future of journalism because of the fact that there is no clear-cut answer. But, it will be very interesting to see how things play out.
The panel of speakers at this workshop were Marcus Brauchli of the Washington Post, Janet Mason of WZZM 13, John Bracken of the Knight Foundation, and Torey Malatia of Chicago Public Media.
— Delane Cleveland, AAJA Minnesota