20200
P
1
20100
R  E
2
2070
D   I   C
3
2050
T   I   O   N
4
2040
S   F   O   R   J
5
2030
O  U  R  N  A  L
6
2020
I  S  M  2  0  2  0
7

Speed through technology

“It’s absolutely overwhelming for media companies with limited and declining resources to assess all of the myriad of startups and scale-ups that are offering magical solutions to transform what’s being done.”

[Click here for an interactive transcript of a version of this prediction.]

There will be an increasing appetite among journalists to leverage AI so they can focus more on meaningful content production than on menial tasks. It’s about focusing on real journalism and not content gathering and its technical complications in this multimedia age. That means leveraging artificial intelligence to automate unnecessary processes. And if you think about it, the growth of magazine journalism (or the appetite for magazine journalism) and podcasting are examples of a desire to get back to real, substantive journalism, not just lists of things that amuse and entertain.

Second, there’s real pressure to find new ways to feed the beast. Journalists have to turn stories around fast, and there’s enormous competition from all sorts of user-generated guerilla news channels. Mainstream media or legacy media have to feed so many different platforms at the same time. That means getting content in fast and out fast, while making sure that accuracy is never compromised. And that, again, is going to require finding ways to leverage technology in order to make sure that content is easily accessed, verified, and distributed with minimal effort, but with absolute assurance that there are no mistakes being sent out. In this era of so-called fake news, there’s no room for newsrooms to make mistakes in the name of speed and competitive pressures. You’ve got to know that whatever quote, whatever content you’re sending out is absolutely accurate. And so people are looking for ways to leverage technologies that will help them do that under such intense deadline pressure.

No. 3: We are, as we all know, in the middle of a huge digital transformation in journalism. Media companies have been cautiously testing the waters with tech and digital tools that will enhance their ability to produce content and will open up new markets and new avenues for distribution. The challenge is that it’s absolutely overwhelming for media companies with limited and declining resources to assess all of the myriad of startups and scale-ups that are offering magical solutions to transform what’s being done. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can afford to ignore it and wait for others to lead the way. The amount of effort being put into adopting these new tools will, in many ways, determine which newsrooms are successful in the years ahead and which ones fail.

I think also, finally, No. 4, the rebirth of local journalism. I think that what we’ve seen in the last 20 years is a chronic hemorrhaging of resources in local journalism. We’ve seen local newsrooms fold and contract in ways that really are alarming. It means that politicians and others aren’t being held accountable by journalists in the way that they need to be. And it means that one of the pillars of democracy — this public sense of accountability — is being compromised through the new economic models that have disrupted and undermined community journalism. We have opportunities now, though, with technology and efficiencies, with foundations like Laurene Powell Jobs’, and funds to put focus back on local journalism, to find new models and to support new models — to make sure that community journalism, which is really the foundation of our democracies, can be sustainable and can have an influence on public debate.

Jeff Kofman is CEO and founder of Trint.

[Click here for an interactive transcript of a version of this prediction.]

There will be an increasing appetite among journalists to leverage AI so they can focus more on meaningful content production than on menial tasks. It’s about focusing on real journalism and not content gathering and its technical complications in this multimedia age. That means leveraging artificial intelligence to automate unnecessary processes. And if you think about it, the growth of magazine journalism (or the appetite for magazine journalism) and podcasting are examples of a desire to get back to real, substantive journalism, not just lists of things that amuse and entertain.

Second, there’s real pressure to find new ways to feed the beast. Journalists have to turn stories around fast, and there’s enormous competition from all sorts of user-generated guerilla news channels. Mainstream media or legacy media have to feed so many different platforms at the same time. That means getting content in fast and out fast, while making sure that accuracy is never compromised. And that, again, is going to require finding ways to leverage technology in order to make sure that content is easily accessed, verified, and distributed with minimal effort, but with absolute assurance that there are no mistakes being sent out. In this era of so-called fake news, there’s no room for newsrooms to make mistakes in the name of speed and competitive pressures. You’ve got to know that whatever quote, whatever content you’re sending out is absolutely accurate. And so people are looking for ways to leverage technologies that will help them do that under such intense deadline pressure.

No. 3: We are, as we all know, in the middle of a huge digital transformation in journalism. Media companies have been cautiously testing the waters with tech and digital tools that will enhance their ability to produce content and will open up new markets and new avenues for distribution. The challenge is that it’s absolutely overwhelming for media companies with limited and declining resources to assess all of the myriad of startups and scale-ups that are offering magical solutions to transform what’s being done. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can afford to ignore it and wait for others to lead the way. The amount of effort being put into adopting these new tools will, in many ways, determine which newsrooms are successful in the years ahead and which ones fail.

I think also, finally, No. 4, the rebirth of local journalism. I think that what we’ve seen in the last 20 years is a chronic hemorrhaging of resources in local journalism. We’ve seen local newsrooms fold and contract in ways that really are alarming. It means that politicians and others aren’t being held accountable by journalists in the way that they need to be. And it means that one of the pillars of democracy — this public sense of accountability — is being compromised through the new economic models that have disrupted and undermined community journalism. We have opportunities now, though, with technology and efficiencies, with foundations like Laurene Powell Jobs’, and funds to put focus back on local journalism, to find new models and to support new models — to make sure that community journalism, which is really the foundation of our democracies, can be sustainable and can have an influence on public debate.

Jeff Kofman is CEO and founder of Trint.

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