Facebook, twitter, tumblr and other social networking websites are some of the most popular websites on the planet. They also represent a new form of "social" media where lots of information is shared between people. This rampant information sharing is leading to a number of changes in the field of journalism. Think about and find some trend that is changing the way journalism works. Then write an essay discussing what that trend is, where it is heading in the future, and how (if it continues) it will cause a major change in the journalism industry.
Blogs have been a controversial topic in journalist circles. Chose an example of a "blog" and write a story that highlights some of the challenges in understanding how blogs relate to the field of journalism. Use your example blog as a starting point to discuss what it means to be a "journalist".
Much news is being delivered by computers. This opens up the possibility of personalizing the news: individually tailoring which news is displayed, and maybe even which version of a particular story. Choose a personalization technology and write a story about how it can be used to deliver a more individual news experience. This is a great opportunity to spend some time creating a vision of the future. How might news be different if we could know what each reader really wanted to see, and could personalize the news for her or him? How would it be different for the news consumer?
The assignment for this week is to start figuring out what your vision of the future will look like. You goal is to come up with a short, 300-500 work proposal for what your vision of the future is going to be about. I have no doubt that everyone in class will come up with a different vision, but I'd like to see what yours looks like.
With computers and the Internet comes the ability to download and process extremely large amounts of information. Some reporters have found that collecting and using computers to process that large amount of information can be a valuable way of discovering news-worthy stories.
The readings for this week provide guidance for thinking about what kinds of things need to change in the journalism industry, and where the opportunities for change are. As you may remember, the final project for this class is to create a vision of the future of journalism.
"Crowdsourcing" is a hot topic right now; many journalists are looking to the crowd for assistance in producing high-quality journalism, and readers are enjoying being involved with stories they care about before they are seen in print. Already we discussed ways that crowds can actually produce lots of high-quality information, and ways that crowds fail. For this week, write a story about how some social media technology is used as an input to produce journalism; this should be an example of how "the crowd" can help produce information.
The final project for this class is to create your own custom vision of the future of journalism: what will journalism be like in 20 years or 50 years? Creating a vision of the future is difficult; it requires thinking through implications of current trends and foreseeing changes that are happening or will happen, and then extrapolating those trends and changes into the future to see what things will look like.
Technology has been changing the way that journalists and journalism organizations make money from their craft. Write a story about a time that a technology has influenced the way a journalist earned money for his or her work. Technology can either help or hurt your ability to make money from reporting. Your story can either describe an instance where journalists are struggling to earn a fair wage due to technological changes, or an instance where a journalist or journalism organization has succeeded in using technology to find a new way to earn money.
Write a story about an example of how a new technology is used for publishing and/or reading news. News is not only published in newspapers; there are many different ways of publishing news now including webpages, blogs, tablets, phones, twitter, facebook, and more. Your story can be from the perspective of a journalism trying to disseminate news to an audience, or from the perspective of a consumer trying to read news.