What do you think will be the role for professional journalists in this rapidly approaching future we keep hearing so much about? Will the bloggers have taken over? Will there be any real reporting left?
I, for one, fully believe that the world needs journalists. Not just writers and reporters and photographers – but editors as well. We need these editors to determine what’s legitimate in a world of information overload.
Technologist and Big Thinker Steven Berlin Johnson put it pretty well when he spoke at SXSW last week and I felt it needs to be shared with the naysayers and doomsday theorists who believe we should all start training to be nurses.
In his address, he notes how much the availability and speed of content has vastly improved since even the late 80s – and he expects that to only continue with the continuing rise of hyperlocal news and citizen journalism.
Sure, it won’t be all done by professional journalists. Sadly, a lot of us won’t be journalists long enough to see this age of information equality. But there will still be news – and noise. While savvy news consumers will be able to sort through this mass of information for the information most relevant to them – there will be too much to handle for many (if not most).
Let’s say they need some kind of authoritative guide, to help them find all the useful information that’s proliferating out there in the wild. If only there were some institution that had a reputation for journalistic integrity that had a staff of trained editors and a growing audience arriving at its web site every day seeking quality information. If only…
Of course, we have thousands of these institutions. They’re called newspapers.
Isn’t that a great thought? We should be editing content – even if we aren’t always the ones producing it. We’re in the process of doing this right now at the Enquirer in the form of aggregating off-site local content from unaffiliated blogs and news sites. We’re making our site a destination for all of the best local news – hand-picked by our editors.
So stop your bellyaching already – we might still be here just yet.