Home > Assignments, journalism time machine > What this means for the future of journalism.

What this means for the future of journalism.

Let’s be honest.  The future of journalism is up in the air and no one knows quite what the final formula will be.

Will nostalgia kick in and we revert to our black and white newspapers?  Will twenty-four hour cable news stations reign supreme?  Will the bloggers and tweeters succeed in a guerrilla-style overthrow of the traditional media giants?

I think I’ll bet on all of these… and none of these.

What I’m trying to say is diversify, diversify, diversify.  I don’t think there will ever be a “right answer” when it comes to journalism again.

At this point in history, it is archaic to be a newspaper or cable news network with an accompanying website.  There has to be an understanding that people see the New York Times as more than just a newspaper and FOX News as more than just a channel.

They are (or should be) an intricate mix of different media that all work together to create an ever changing product.

What I’m about to say next may be seen as heresy among many journalistic scholars but here it goes…

Journalists should be more like Stephen Colbert.  There I said it.

Okay, maybe we shouldn’t REALLY be just like Colbert.  But he does successfully blend countless different types of media and, as a result, has injected himself directly into the veins of American culture.

Of course he has his original television show…

And his comic…

And his book…

And his iPhone App…

And his Twitter…

And his blog…

And his U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team…

Maybe sponsoring the speedskating team could be considered a little crazy but it gets him noticed and continues the branding of the Colbert name.

What Colbert is doing isn’t revolutionary.  I can go to most large news outlets and see them attempting to break into new territory with technology and the internet (even if it is a little self-indulgent).

Colbert succeeds by fusing the different types of media together while not being too loyal to the TV show that won him his initial fame.  He understands (or his marketing team does) that all of these styles of communication depend on each other to make Stephen Colbert one of the most recognizable names in America.

So now it’s our turn.  Let’s start thinking as a mixture of formats that create a solution instead of one format that is accompanied by a few others.

Okay I admit, it may not even be that simple.  But that’s why this is so fun!

What do you think the future of journalism will be?

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