The Future! (Without Zombies)

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 17:00
Mon, 02/08/2016 to Mon, 02/15/2016

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.

In the book Feed, Mira Grant had to do a similar exercise: how would journalism look 20 years from now? She had a major catastrophe -- the zombie apocalypse -- that reshaped current trends and made things easier to foresee. But then she had to look forward to how this event would change the structure of the industry, the structure of news organizations, the demands for information, and the day-to-day work of journalists -- and even the requirements for the job (a license to carry a weapon?!?).

For this week's writing assignment choose one aspect of the future of journalism as portrayed in Feed that is different from the way we do journalism now. It could be the existence of "Irwin" reporters, or the value placed on "Fictionals". It could be the licensing and equipment required for the job. It could be the different structure of news organizations. It could be the blogs vs. traditional media divide. It could be the "beta blogger" industry structure, or the existence of "forums", or the focus on individuals over organizations. Its up to you.

Once you've picked your interesting aspect of the future zombie news industry, start thinking hard about it. First, is this change a realistic change to have happened after a zombie apocalypse? Why or why not? Second, do you think a change like this is happening now, even without a zombie apocalypse? Why or why not?

Most likely, what you will end up deciding is that while this exact change might not be happening, something similar might happen in our future. Therefore, your assignment for this week is to write up a small vision of one small piece of our future -- how and why this change that Mira Grant proposed in Feed, or some change fairly similar, might actually come to pass in the real world.

This week's assignment should be an argument that is trying to convince the reader that this change is actually happening. Also, you should discuss whether you think this is a good change or a bad change.

Your essay must be entered into the system by next Friday (2/12) at 5pm. It should be in the neighborhood of 300-500 words, and include a relevant image at the top of the article.

Over the weekend or on Monday, be sure to log into the class system. Try to read all of the stories from your fellow students, and (optionally) leave comments to the author about the essay. You will be assigned as a "Discussant" for one of the essays. Read that essay carefully; you will be asked to present that essay on Monday to the rest of the class. You will also "discuss" it by describing whether you agree with the argument in the essay or not, and why you think this example is interesting to think about (or not). Try to include both praise and criticism in your discussion.


After reading Mira Grant's novel, Feed, there were multip

Karen Hopper

I was most interested in the post-zombie-apocalypse remot


In Mira Grant's Feed, we are introduced to journ


One of the most interesting, futuristic journalism aspect