Back to the Future

We are all creatures of wonder. We often daydream about what the future holds for us. Some dream about becoming President of the United States, others hope to proudly represent New York’s finest police officers, some strive to mold the minds of America’s future. One way or another, we are all guilty of wondering what the future will be like for us and building expectations. For the news world, the question continues to be: will journalism as we know it survive?

Immediately, I thought of the Back to the Future trilogy with Marty McFly driving the DeLorean, speeding towards the future. There, cars and skateboards hovered, clothes automatically adjusted themselves to our body types, and everything was electronic. With how everything has unraveled since the Y2K panic, it does not seem so far fetched does it?

With the rise of technology, the days of delivery boys’ 4 AM wake up calls will become a thing of the past. Print newspapers have dwindled noticeably since the development of the ever integrating Web 2.0. There is hope for a more interactive type of news, where anyone could report news from anywhere. According to the predictions of David Hirschman and Laura Rich, local news will become automated. Professional Journalists will become too expensive to cover communal news and it’ll be up to locals to report. In result, communities will have a much stronger voice and the impact of one person’s story will be more powerful. The average person becomes empowered, reporting and sharing news will not need to come from solely the professionals. Journalism becomes more accessible to the average Jane and Joe.

The job description and expectations for journalists have quickly changed along with the technological boom. Instead of simply being skilled listeners and asking the right questions, journalists are expected to become a jack of all trades. No longer will a pen and notepad get the job done. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the keyboard just may be the ultimate weapon.The ability to set up video cameras, to edit video clips, and generate eye catching news stories are the essential tools to news reporting. The demand for skilled journalists have increased exponentially due to the fast changing delivery of news. Instead of using delivery boys, the internet delivers the news right to our personalized smartphones, tablets, and computers. Our news consumption will not only take place at the breakfast table, but anywhere we go. Whether sitting in the subway, working in the office, or on the bleachers cheering on your kid, news will follow us to the ends of the Earth, all thanks to our mobile phones.

The future is promising for those who are tech savvy. The future is bright for the little girl, dreaming to become the next Katie Couric. Just make sure you know how to do more than just turn on a computer. Become a jack of all trades and impress the world with your fiery passion for people and stories. Go forth and report, but also move with the current. While the values and purposes of journalism may remain traditional, the means of reporting changes as often as my mind does. Embrace the changes.


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