Why I’m the future of journalism

It’s because I make lofty claims, duh.

Actually, I have three reasons I outlined earlier today for Publish2’s December contest. They originally were born of an ad-hoc Qik livestream, but I felt I didn’t communicate myself as well as I had hoped. It drove me to explain myself further. I think there are three important components to the future of journalism:

First: innovation. Those who come before me were fortunate or unfortunate (depending on how you look at it) in that they were stuck with limited tools with which to be a journalist. Today, we’ve got a growing arsenal of technology to tell the important stories with, let it be livestreaming on Qik, microblogging with Twitter, or practicing link journalism with Facebook. Contrary to the popular paradigm that we’ll settle on one format, this is just the beginning of tool fragmentation. By playing and experimenting with the tools, I position myself to take advantage of what they offer.

Second: the untold stories. Using a combination of emerging tools and traditional formats, my goal is to cover the under reported, most troubling issues we face as a globally connected society. Examples include water access exploitation in India, deforestation and the climate in Haiti, and homelessness in the big cities of Latin America. Being a journalist of the future means using the tools to expand your capacity to tell the word’s most important stories.

Third: collaboration. I began this fall as the Online Editor for the Oregon Daily Emerald wanting to push the publication to innovate with technology. Given the limited resources at hand, I realised that the only way I could achieve anything significant would be to work collaboratively with my peers across the nation. From that vision, CoPress was formed. Contributing to the network is an increasingly successful method of innovation.

As much as I’m a futurist, I still think the core philosophies of journalism still play a significant role in how information is distributed across the net. The two continuing discussions will be what format news will take, let it be 140 characters, wiki article, or blog post, and how to monetize the abstract value it provides.

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