Five things you need to know about the future of journalism

A new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at Oxford points to an important future for investigative reporting.

by Simone Flueckiger | January 25, 2019

The 24/7 news cycle, along with cost-cutting, and pressure to produce more with less across many different formats have led to an increase in superficial journalistic output. However, the best journalism today is better than ever, argue Rasmus Kleis Nielsen and Meera Selva in the report “More Important, But Less Robust? Five Things Everybody Needs to Know about the Future of Journalism.”

It’s “more accessible, more timely, more informative, more interactive, more engaged with its audience,” the authors write.

“And the role of journalistic revelations in many different cases, in the #MeToo movement, in confronting corruption amongst public officials in countries including India, South Africa, and elsewhere, and in fuelling public debate around platform companies’ power and privacy practices and other issues in the private sector, underline the continued importance of investigative reporting.”

Here are the other trends they believe will play out across the globe in the coming years.

  • We have moved from a world where media organisations were gatekeepers to a world where media still create the news agenda, but platform companies control access to audiences.
  • This move to digital media generally does not generate filter bubbles. Instead automated serendipity and incidental exposure drive people to more and more diverse sources of information.
  • Journalism is often losing the battle for people’s attention and in some countries for the public’s trust.
  • The business models that fund news are challenged, weakening professional journalism and leaving news media more vulnerable to commercial and political pressures.
  • News is more diverse than ever, and the best journalism in many cases better than ever, taking everyone from the most powerful politicians to the biggest private companies.

The full report can be accessed here.

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