Posted in Innovation, journalism, Technology

Carnival Of Journalism: What Emerging Technology Or Digital Trend Will Upend Journalism Next?

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation journalist/blogger

Photo by Cecilia Teodomira Márquez, via Flickr

It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to post on the Carnival of Journalism, and I’ve missed it. For the uninitiated, once a month a group of us journalism geek types get together and write about the same topic, directed by a different host each time.

This month’s question is one I’m asked regularly — what is the next big thing that will upend journalism?

And I’m going to tell the truth — I haven’t the foggiest idea.  My collision with emerging technology and digital trends began in March 2006, when my then-employer told us we were embracing a digital future. I jumped in feet first, trying out new things like my daughter changes her shoes.

So that gave me an idea on how to tackle this topic.  I decided to jump back to 2006 — the beginning of my transformation from an old-school print journalist (I began my career using a typewriter) to a multimedia amazon — to see what tools and technologies were being touted to journalists.

  • Flock, touted as the “ultimate blogging tool for journalists” – this was a web browser that was touted as being designed specifically for social media and Web 2.0 applications.
  • Writely, a web-based word processor that eventually morphed into Google Docs.
  • PodZinger, which used speech recognition technology that could turn podcast audio into searchable text, according to TechCrunch.
  • Co.mments, an online tool designed to allow users to track online comments.
  • Furl, a free service that allowed users to store copies of web pages then search them and share results later.

I could go on, but you get my point.  How many of you actually used some of these tools? How many of you even remember these tools?  Most of them are either gone or have morphed into other tools or merged with other companies. Which brings me back to my original point — I have no idea what the next technology or trend is around the corner for journalists, but I can’t wait to see what it is!



Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

One thought on “Carnival Of Journalism: What Emerging Technology Or Digital Trend Will Upend Journalism Next?

  1. Benet, you’re right that nobody knows what this metamorphosis will become, but there are hints here now and on the horizon. When corporate print media hire TV producers to ensure quality video production and reporters act as de facto news anchors, that supports the direction of video ruling the web for a while. When the president engages with live audience online, platforms like Google Hangout and Vokle get a big bump. Will media orgs invite online audiences to engage in real time interviews with guests or newsroom editors? I can totally see a crew of star athletes with sports editors engaged in live online audience interaction commenting on a game while its happening. I can see folks tuning in to a behind-the-scenes engagement with celebrities after a concert, Grammys or Oscars. I can see live feeds directly with Joe the neighbor who is on the scene of a breaking story and contacts the new org that does a live online video interview during the breaking story with audience members asking text and video questions to the journalist interviewing Joe. I can see gamification coming to journalism and media platforms. I can see Klout scores giving reporters a level of crowd credibility knowing what info can be trusted from anonymous sources enuf to followup. There’s so much happening that it’s tough to see too far down the line. But here’s the bottom line: Media that fail to be early adopters, even creators, of new technology and methods of audience reach and engagement risk falling irreversibly behind competitors. I’m not sure where that leaves ethnic mediea like the Black Press. But new business models follow new tech and innovations to former processes. We live in interesting times.

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