Looking Five Years into the Future of Journalism

When speaking about the future, it seems that 5 years is the most popular milestone for people. Not far enough off to suggest silver hover-cars and jet packs, yet distant enough that we’ll accept some fantastic possibilities (especially if we consider Moore’s Law and it’s rate of acceleration), the 5 year plan allows us to see the road immediately ahead and plan for it.

The unfathomable future – Suddenly Fathomable!

This past week I found two informative pieces about the future of journalism that suggested what trends will become important for the media in the next 5 years. While everyone can predict the future, and every megalomaniac can build a 5-year plan, I thought these pieces were great food for thought for multimedia journos.

The first piece comes from (the awesome) ReadWriteWeb site, and features a brief excerpt of an interview with Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google. The 6-minute segment discusses the role of video, non-English language communications, social media and bandwidth in the coming age, and also offers a fascinating look at how Google predicts media trends (non-separation between consumer and enterprise applications, for instance).

The excerpt on ReadWriteWeb is most pertinent, but I also watched the full 45 minute piece on YouTube and, while less relevant to journos, it was still informative. Check it out.

The second piece about the future of the web comes to my attention from Will Sullivan’s Journerdism site, and he draws it in from Noupe. Noupe’s piece asks “where will the web be in 5 years” and then presents 15 trends to consider. The Noupe article is pretty detailed, with examples, pundits (both pro- and con-), further reading and what I think are some pretty hilarious photos in support of their arguments.

Highlights include a prediction that consumers will gravitate toward web experience as the centre of their media world, where social media, net-based entertainment, mobile apps, and collaborative tools all become a core set of entertainment, education and creative tools for consumers. Essentially, the web (and its apps) will become stronger and we, in turn, will become more fluid in our integration of this experience into our lives.

While not Nostradamus or the Mayan Calendar (shout out to the 2012-ers out there!), the 5-years-into-the-future predictions are popular, and the two pieces cited above contain some excellent ideas to consider. Part of considering the future of journalism is intrinsically linked to considering the future of all consumer and enterprise media, and the articles in Noupe or ReadWriteWeb offer a great road map for next-gen-journos.

Post a comment