Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 21, 2011, 11 a.m.

Paul Bradshaw: Collaboration! Data! 2012 will see news outlets turning talk into action

Also: Say goodbye to the homepage as we know it. The future is streaming.
Editor’s Note: We’re wrapping up 2011 by asking some of the smartest people in journalism what the new year will bring.

Next up is Paul Bradshaw, the author of the Online Journalism Handbook and a visiting professor at City University London.

The problem with making predictions is that a year is too short a timescale; and five is too long. The secret, I’ve realized, is to actually talk about things you already know are going to happen, and then accept all the glory when they actually do.

Having broken the Magicians’ Circle of journalistic punditry, then, here are the developments I see shaping 2012.

1. 2012 will be the year we finally move away from the traditional homepage

Liveblogging has been taken up by the news industry more enthusiastically than perhaps any other web-native form of journalism. It’s sticky, great for SEO, and provides a simple way to turn a newsroom used to daily news cycles into a rolling news operation.

Indeed, its influence has been so great that some news organizations are seriously considering the very way they present their news — and in 2012 I think that influence will generate significant changes in how certain media organizations make that presentation.

The “stream” as an interface will move from being the preserve of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to being a serious consideration for news website homepages. We’re all 24-hour news channels now.

2. In 2012, “Collaboration Is King”

If you’re not already tired of conference speakers staging their own coronations where some aspect of journalism is crowned “king” — from content to curation and context to conversation — expect there to be another one in 2012.

I’m betting on “collaboration”: partly with users who have valuable expertise to share; but also between media organizations, strapped for cash and looking for new economies and new opportunities.

3. News organizations turn talk into action on data

In 2009 and 2010, the MPs’ expenses and Wikileaks stories helped news organizations see the potential of data journalism. In 2011, they spent plenty of time talking about it. In 2012, more of them will be ready to start doing it.

At the BBC, the College of Journalism has embarked upon a significant training program to build data journalism literacy among the corporation’s journalists, with other broadcasters making plans in the same area. The Guardian and The FT continue to set the pace for the UK newspaper industry, and the magazine industry is starting to look at the possibilities of data, too.

This slow skilling up of journalists can expect to get a fresh injection of pace with further open data developments in 2012, from the UK government’s attempt to stimulate the economy with further data releases, to the “carrot and stick” of pushing releases of data at an EU level. Any news organization that is serious about its fourth estate role is building the skills to interrogate those datasets.

POSTED     Dec. 21, 2011, 11 a.m.
PART OF A SERIES     Predictions for Journalism 2012
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed
The quest for scale, driven by the distribution power of a few enormous technology platforms, is killing the business case for local news. Will anything take its place?
Hot Pod: The podcast collective Radiotopia has a new leader
“I keep hearing stories about her being a great mentor to many a young fledgling producer. To me, that willingness to actively think about the next generation of producers is shorthand for proper leadership.”
Building a j-school from scratch: How The New School aims to bring journalism and design together
“I’m not so much interested in specific skills as dispositions. Are we helping people be able to learn really fast, so when things do change they can move with it without completely freaking out?”
What to read next
2569
tweets
The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media
The bot, named Blossom, helps predict how stories will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote.
1287Jo Ellen Green Kaiser: Do independent news outlets have a blind spot when it comes to ethnic media?
The head of the Media Consortium argues that, by defining themselves in opposition to mainstream media, independent progressive outlets miss out on the power of ethnic and community journalism.
1029Newsonomics: 10 numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million digital-subscriber milestone
Digital subscribers are proving to be the bedrock of the Times’ business model going forward. How much more room is there for growth — and at what price points?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
San Francisco Chronicle
PBS
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Lens
Reuters
Minneapolis Star Tribune
St. Louis Beacon
New West
Plaza Pública
FactCheck.org
Hearst
Storify