By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
I have always been a big fan of offer predictions for a new year. especially in my areas of interest — journalism and social media. The Mashable and Nieman Lab (here and here) websites have come out with their own predictions, and I’ll comment on some.
Mashable: News Organizations Get Smarter With Social Media – 2011 will be the year that news organizations get really serious about integrating social media into their journalism efforts. In February, the BBC announced that its editorial staff HAD to embrace social media as part of their work — or look for a job somewhere else. I see more companies taking a similar stand.
Nieman Labs Vox Populi: readers see online-only media outlets continuing their growth. They noted the growth of outlets including Huffington Post, Gawker Media, The Daily Beast, Mashable, and Patch. Those readers also noted the efforts of non-profit efforts including ProPublica, Talking Points Memo, Politico, The Texas Tribune, Slate, The Daily Beast, Patch, Bay Citizen, Voice of San Diego and California Watch. My only question is how much more room does the industry have to accommodate online-only news outlets?
Mashable: More Media Mergers and Acquisitions – I agree 100%. As media outlets continue to jockey for position in 2011, it’s inevitable that there will be even more shake-up in the industry. As Mashable says: “The question isn’t if, but who? I think that just like this year, most will be surprises.”
Neiman Journalism Lab: The great paywall debate: Will The New York Times’ new model work? Most of the responders agree that the paywall won’t make it to the end of 2011, and I agree. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times are successful with their paywalls because those walls were erected at the beginning of online journalism. Their readers are already in the habit of paying for their news, unlike the readers of the New York Times.
Mashable: The Death of the ‘Foreign Correspondent’ – we’ve already been moving toward this as news organizations hire multimedia backpack journalists who can go to the scene of news in an instant. And like it or not, this trend is also helped by citizen journalists and ordinary citizens increasing their roles in the process of gathering news around the globe.
Nieman Labs Vox Populi: Make one prediction — positive or negative — of something that will happen in the world of journalism in 2011. The list ranged from “a major U.S. city will lose its one remaining major metro daily” to “Twitter will launch a branded international news aggregation service.” Since I’m a long-time B2B journalist, I see more B2B media outlets either cutting back or even abandoning their print product to focus more on online, iPad and mobile applications of their new products.
Nieman Journalism Lab: Maybe not much will change at all: 2011 journalism predictions from Malik, Gillmor, Golis, Grimm, more. I respectfully disagree. I see even more transformation of a field that was using typewriters when I began my career. And as an old-school print reporter, I look forward to — and am excited about — continuing my transformation into a 21st century multimedia journalists able to hop across different platforms with the greatest of ease.
What do you think? Did we miss some trends or issues to watch in 2011? Let us know in the comments section. Happy New Year!