Vision of the Future: Paper

For the final paper for the class, you will write an article describing your vision for the future of news.

Your paper should describe your scenario in detail, and in a way that the reader can really understand what the world of news will be like if your scenario comes to be. In addition to the scenario, your paper should also include:

  • Background: A section that describes the background information about the focus of your scenario.
    • Why did you choose this particular vision of the future of news to focus on?
    • What does your reader need to know about the news world or the outside world to understand your scenario?
    • What is going on today around this topic?
  • Takeaways: Future vision scenarios are done so that we can learn better how to think about the changes that are happening today. What should we take away from your scenario?
    • Do we think this is a good future or a bad future? Or an inevitable future?
    • Can we do anything to help this future happen? Or to prevent it from happening?
    • What would you want technology designers, policy makers, and news people to be thinking after reading this scenario?

Some requirements for your paper:

  • 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?
  • Your report should be approximately 10 pages. (Note: I'm not specifying formating beyond this... Use your own good judgement, and be creative in ways to use the space. Feel free to include appropriate pictures, diagrams, infographics, or whatever you need. )
  • A portion of your grade will be "writing" -- both technical writing things like using complete sentences, but also how well your organize your ideas and how you present the ideas to the reader (pictures, description, etc.)

This assignment is due on Thursday, May 5th at 12:40pm (the scheduled final exam time). Please submit an electronic copy of your document to me via email at wash@msu.edu.