The 11th annual Newsroom Summit kicked off in Hamburg, Germany this week and trends in journalism will certainly be a hot topic during the event.
Leading up to the summit, Larry Kilman of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers shared a list of 10 journalism trends to watch, which he gathered from Erik Bjerager, President of the World Editors Forum.
Bjerager’s list highlighted the following 10 journalism trends:
- Newsrooms are increasingly outsourced.
- Two-speed journalism is now a reality.
- Breaking news is becoming digital, and in the digital world, speed often trumps accuracy.
- Data journalism is accepted as a discipline.
- Infographics dominate print and web.
- The differences between print and broadcast have shrunk.
- More momentum is coming from mobile.
- Social media enrich journalism.
- Ethics and a focus on going back to basics.
- All-round newspapers are challenged online by big tabloids.
It could be argued that the 10 journalism trends Bjerager identified have both positive and negative effects on journalism overall. For example, infographics that are done well (meaning the data in them is reliable) are extremely useful and should be highly shareable. People like visual stimulation. The popularity of infographics, Pinterest, and Instagram demonstrate this visual preference again and again. However, not all infographics are created equal and poorly researched infographics can do more harm than good.
Bjerager points out that quality control has become a problem in newsrooms and the broader journalism industry where things like erroneous infographics, outsourced reporters, and speed-to-publishing often lead to a lack of quality content and reporting. The final product consumed by consumers is fragmented and can lack integrity.
Of course, the democratization of journalism that has evolved through user-generated content has opened the doors for anyone to publish content and call themselves journalists. The difference between the masses and Authoritative Content publishers, like those who syndicate their high quality content through Newstex, is significant, and that’s a distinction that should be made very clear.
Today, consumers have more choice when it comes to accessing news, journalism, and content than ever, and content publishers, including traditional newsrooms, have to develop brand identities that consumers can trust will deliver reliable reporting and information. The proof is in the content.
Image: Brian Alexander