Yes, I’m not going to lie, but as a journalism student I am worried about my future. It’s natural that our eyes roll every time someone comes into the classroom bearing bad news about ‘the future of journalism.’ Enough of that.
The new age of digital media has left many future journalists sighing with relief. I don’t think it is the actual content of journalism that is changing. But one thing we can be certain of: the way we present news and the way people are consuming news is constantly changing. This is already good news.
This year’s media report had a lot of surprises, especially in regards to the future of ads. Some not very good ones. While the overall spending on online advertising – on news and non-news sites – grew 14% in 2010. This pushed these ads ahead of those seen in newspapers for the first time. According to the report there was over $2 billion more than newspaper print ads. While there was growth, these ads are not very associated with news. Search is by far the biggest portion of total online ad spending.
However, with the growth of mobile and tablet usage many news producers are seeing the light. Since it is only just starting, it might be too soon to make any sure predictions. But it is a fact that 84% of Americans own a mobile phone of some kind and about four out of ten use the internet in their phones. At least revenue is growing pretty fast in the mobile space, and this is encouraging for news organizations. And if prospects are positive for the mobile world, things are looking better for the new tablets. Because of the novelty factor, 39% of iPad users said the ads were “new and interesting.” The ads become more visually appealing as well as interactive.
Kenny Olmstead, Amy Mitchell, and Tom Rosenstiel conclude,
“As tablet devices become more commonplace and smartphones become more powerful, the potential for mobile revenue — at least as an added stream if not one that makes up for losses in the old — could grow rapidly. If the worry in the last decade was that free content on the web would kill news, news organizations are now pinning hopes on mobile and tablets to bring user fees, along with new advertising, back into the equation.”
Moreover, jobs are changing in the field, and that does not mean that they won’t be there at all in the future. The job descriptions are already changing, and there is nothing wrong with this. There is no reason for anyone to be crying about the past. We have to accept we are moving on to a new era. And it will be a good one.