Final Project

For the final project for this class, you will create a 'what if' scenario about the future of news. This scenario should involve some major changes in the way news is produced and/or consumed as a result of changing technologies. You are to support your scenario with concepts we've discussed in the class this semester.

You should begin by brainstorming and envisioning what the future might look like. This might not be what you expect or hope the future to look like, but what you think it actually might be like. This doesn't have to be a prediction about the future -- you grade won't depend on whether your predictions come true -- but rather it should be more like asking yourself "what if" and describing how the trends we've been discussing could evolve into the future. Your scenario could describe a utopia or a distopia or somewhere in between. You can describe your scenario by telling a story about fictional people, or by describing a new technology and how people will use it. Be creative. Your scenarios should be grounded in ideas, concepts, and technologies that we've read about and discussed in class.

Your scenario should address things like:

  • Who? What people will be affected?
  • What? What specific technology or set of technologies is driving this change, and how might they work?
  • Why? Why would people use this technology? Good reasons? Benefits?
  • When? How far in the future do you think this is?
  • Where? What is the environment like?
  • Side effects? What else in society will change as a result of these new technological changes?

Some requirements for your scenario:

  • Your scenario must include news in some way. But beyond that, it is wide open. Your future vision does not have to include reporters (though it can), or formal news organizations.
  • Your scenario should be driven by changes in technology, or in changes in the way that people are adapting to new technologies. Technology changes have had so many influences on the way the field of journalism has developed; look forward and think about how future technology changes will impact the field.
  • You must use at least two concepts / technologies from this class. Concepts include things like the 4 aspects of the wisdom of crowds or the 'distance matters' challenges of collaboration. Technologies include things like recommender systems, crowdfunding sites, and Google's PageRank algorithm. Use appropriate citations to these concepts and technologies.
  • I expect to see evidence of analytical thought. In what circumstances will this technology work well? In what circumstances will it not work? What kinds of people are likely to be early adopters? What kinds of people won't ever use it? How does that matter for its effect on the news industry?