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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard
To close out 2012, we asked some of the smartest people we know to predict what 2013 will bring for the future of journalism. Here’s what they had to say.
Kevin J. Delaney
“The list of breakthrough interfaces for reading news on smartphones is a short one…it’s hard to find boldness and creativity in the news industry’s smartphone products.”
Matt Haughey
“Hey Internet, We’re Craigslisting Ourselves Now.”
Martin Langeveld
“Ultimately, consolidation is just a mop-up strategy — one that simply squeezes out the final remaining profits before the lights are turned out.”
Rex Sorgatz
“It’s a miracle: People pay for things they love.”
Heidi Moore
“Instead of ‘news,’ journalism will be about ’emphasis,’ and each journalistic organization will define itself by how it defines ’emphasis.'”
Kristen Taylor
“In 2013, Instagram will become even more like Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo, as television news screenshots and mugshots mix with picnic tableaux.”
Ken Doctor
“True multiplatform, multimedia news production still rolls along on training wheels, much tougher to master than anyone had suspected.”
Keli Goff
“It did seem fair to anticipate that coverage of a black president would result in more diversity in the overall subjects we the media cover.”
Jane Friedman
“Publications will experiment more with disaggregating their content and moving away from the issue model.”
Mark Katches
“They can be a leader in their communities by engaging audiences, moderating forums, holding events and curating round table discussion.”
Amy Schmitz Weiss
“Data was the star in 2012 and will continue to be big in 2013.”
David Hirschman and Laura Rich
“One thing that’s clear is that local journalism, when produced by full-time, professional journalists, is expensive — possibly too expensive to justify the revenues for many kinds of stories.”
Mindy McAdams
“If an article page was a place that did not offer us 300 navigation choices and 25 butt-ugly ads, but instead provided several appealing doorways to a diverse selection of high-quality content, what would be the result?”
David Skok
“2013 will be a unique snapshot in time: the incumbents, fighting to stave off the disruptors, will invest in original journalism, and the disruptors, fighting to increase their market share, will also invest in original journalism.”
Laura Amico
“It’s reporting that seeks to build context and community around a politically and emotionally charged subject. It is journalism that engages in meaningful conversation.”
Michael Maness
“What is needed are newsrooms that can filter, verify, curate, and amplify social media for their audiences, in addition to journalists reporting in enterprising and contextual ways.”
Staci D. Kramer
“You may get satisfaction but you probably won’t get everything you want where you want it — even if you’re willing to pay — in 2013.”
Raju Narisetti
“Media companies should stop ceding the relationship between their readers and advertising to third parties and agencies.”
Dan Gillmor
“When enough news consumers are hopelessly confused — or have been burned by low-quality information — they’ll retreat to quality.”
Nikki Usher
“Online advertising is still fleeting, and no amount of social metrics canoodling, in my view, is likely to change that — even for Facebook.”
Carrie Brown-Smith
“There remains widespread resistance in newsrooms to a more active audience.”
Blake Eskin
“She wasn’t looking for news when she bought a smartphone. She thinks of it as a better cameraphone and address book that has a calendar and email.”
Amy Webb
“A successful aggregation strategy must rely on editorial curation rather than algorithm alone. And it should dutifully credit those from whom an idea originated.”
Callie Schweitzer
“The emotional connection we build with human beings will always be stronger than one with any network or brand logo.”
Zizi Papacharissi
“The most masterful journalists, in their most memorable reporting, attain this perfect balance between emotion and information, color and news, the affective and the cognitive.”
Jake Levine
“These platforms are all evolving towards a more traditional broadcast media model, because it’s more palatable to late adopters and because that’s the environment in which brands know how to communicate and, more importantly, spend.”
Amanda Zamora
“In our fixation on immediacy, we’re missing opportunities to tell a larger story through social means.”
Jennifer MacMillan
“Video conversations and debates have grown up, and they’re about to become smarter, more informative, and more selective.”
Erin Kissane
“Real ‘sharing’ isn’t about a row of buttons. It’s about giving active readers the handles they need to use information in the way that makes the most sense to them.”
Miranda Mulligan
“In whatever form they take, it’s darned exciting to think that we are not far off from having armies of robots all around us that collectively make it easier to be a journalist.”
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen
“The future usually turns out to be weirder than we think.”
Jan Schaffer
“The opportunities are wide open for connecting silos of information in communities, amplifying good stories that people want to know about and for leveraging resources so that the sum of the efforts is bigger than the individual contributions.”
Nicholas Carr
“The big, transformative changes in the industry — the shifts in the habits of readers and advertisers — happened years ago, and since then a kind of uneasy stability has taken hold.”
Matt Waite
“Think it’s hard to adapt your content to mobile, tablet, and desktop? Just wait until you have to ask how this will also look on the smart TV. Or the refrigerator door. Or on the bathroom mirror.”
Fiona Spruill
“The numbers speak for themselves. In the next 12–18 months, many news organizations will cross the 50 percent threshold where more users are visiting on phones and tablets than on desktop computers and laptops.”