It’s no secret that journalists are having a rough time. The old revenue models aren't bringing in the big bucks anymore. Journalists get less time to write more. And their readers have grown to become news outlets themselves. Outlets that send out stories 24/7.
What will the future of journalism even look like?
Well... it’s impossible to predict, but we asked Bepublic’s Jeroen Wils to give it a go anyway.
Prediction #1: The big will get bigger
The big media companies will merge even further, something Wils fears. “Big media conglomerates dominating everything is a bad evolution. Newsrooms are merging to keep themselves financially viable. But it’s a trend that also impacts the overall news quality in a very negative way”, he explains. “You tend to get one sided news. Only certain topics will be covered extensively, and others will be left out completely.”
Prediction #2: Print is the future ... again?
Traditional news media will never really disappear. Wils believes there will always be a place for print in the future. “Albeit entirely differently than it exists right now. The weekend specials will survive”, he clarifies. “They will be used to provide the public with thorough analyses of certain news stories. Stories our phones will have sent us short push notifications about throughout the week.”
Prediction #3: AI, not now.
Don’t wait up for AI. "We’re still years away from machines writing the news”, Wils tells us. “Sure, people are experimenting with machine learning, but I wouldn’t bet my money on it really turning mainstream within the next ten to fifteen years.”
Prediction #4: A renaissance of quality news
Quality media will become very valuable again. We can see it happening everywhere. “People are desperate for the truth. And in the magnitudes of information they get thrown at their heads each day, they are looking for a partner they can trust. That’s why sources like De Tijd are thriving. People want outlets that guide them through stories. Outlets that aren’t afraid to step on a few toes”, according to Jeroen Wils.
Prediction #5: The fact check industry
"There is no doubt about it”, Jeroen Wils says. “The ability to distinguish fake from real stories will become one of the major challenges for the future. And not just for communication specialists, but for everyone. Detecting and correcting fake news has the ability to become an industry of its own.”
Prediction #6: New media will fight the mainstream.
“Mainstream media will get more pushback from niche media”, the Bepublic-founder continues. “These are companies that bring the news as a reaction to what the mainstream media is reporting, or doesn’t report enough of. More and more of these alternatives will see the light of day.”
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