Insights from KleinCamp — News Innovation Conference

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, I had the opportunity to attend my fourth of 10 annual news innovation conferences at Temple University. Here are some notes from my favorite session this year. Ten thought leaders each shared a prediction on something they believe will be different about journalism 10 years from now. The core ideas are theirs with my thought underneath.

  1. We’ll see journalism produced by organizations with entirely different business models. (Not ads or even subscriptions, but SaaS, agencies and more.)”
    — Christopher Wink,, @christopherwink

Chris elaborated on this a bit and talked about different people using core journalism values and practices to tell stories responsibly for the benefit of their audiences with the support and endorsement of their “patrons.” It made me wonder about journalistic integrity. It also made me think or an ornithology model for journalism. (Say what?) Well, there are very few full-time professional bird experts in the world, but many others who participate in birding with various levels of time and professional commitment. Those at the top of the volunteers make a great contribution to the science in both practice and expertise.

2. “News organizations will grapple with the coordinated harassment of their teams, or the most challenging work will go undone.”
— Chris Grant, Vox Media, @ChrisGrant

This seems so obvious, and yet much of America doesn’t seem to appreciate the risk journalists are now under — not just in the United States, but abroad as well. I just listened to an segment on NPR that I would highly recommend.

It’s great that journalists are picking up the work of murdered journalists, but they obviously shouldn’t have been killed at all. And in America, we have a president who regularly attacks journalists specifically and the practice or journalism as a whole. It must stop.

3. “Newsrooms will look more like the communities they serve. Or they will fail.”
— Bobbi Booker, Philadelphia Tribune, @bobbibooker

Perfectly said. And Bobbi pointed out that while the Tribune is thought of as a black newspaper, the staff is diverse. In fact, I know they recently hired a friend of mine as city editor who happens to be white. Diversity rules, as we are an increasingly diverse society.

4. “Visual storytelling will become an even bigger part of how newsrooms, large and small, tell stories and reach and retain audiences.”
— Dave Cole, Wall Street Journal, @davecolephoto

Early in my career, photos were nice to have to add to “the story.” Now phtotos — or even better video — are need to have. Visuals may be “THE” story.

5. “Newsrooms will be challenged by how we leverage user data to interact with readers, balancing both personalization and ads. — Aram Zucker-Scharff, Washington Post, @chronotope

My only thought: How do we use data to help readers / customers without leaving them feeling dirty and exploited?

6. “In a world with so much information, even the act of curating information will be an expression of your framework.”
— Emily McManus, TED, @emilymcmc

Amen, Emily! I’m a big fan of the late Russell Ackoff’s Data to Wisdom model — We drown in data and flounder in the sea of information. We’re fortunate to have editors who curate valuable content for us. And we need more of that from sources we trust. Like TED.

7. “We’ll witness the death of Twitter.”
–Jess Estepa, USA Today, @JmEstepa

Part of me cheers this. . . and part of me still finds value there. But I think I’m ready for whatever is next.

8. “We’ll see the next generation of distribution platforms. Facebook and Google will no longer be the two biggest traffic sources for publications.”
— Sean Blanda, InVision, @SeanBlanda

Remember Compuserve? Remember Prodigy? Remember AOL? Remember. . .

9. “Place will become the primary factor in how and when we deliver journalism, and how we choose to assign responsibilities.
— Andre Natta, Lenfest Institute, @acnatta

As a journalism student many years ago, it was drilled into my head that local news is most often what has the greatest impact on our lives, yet national and international news often claims the spotlight. So if “place is primary” means what’s close to me is most important, I could not agree more.

10. “First, do no harm: News consumers will hold journalists more accountable to report without hurting people.” — Jim MacMillan, Temple University, @JimMacMillan

Once upon a time, journalism was about being sure of the information that was being conveyed to readers. We’ve fully arrived at unchecked tweet vomit masquerading as journalism. If “journalists” aren’t going to hold themselves accountable, then the public should — but not with violence and mob rule like we see at certain political rallies.

–Chuck Hall, @ChuckHall

2 thoughts on “10 Predictions about Journalism

  1. “Is journalism possible without liberal democracy?” —Kashoggi’s ghost

  2. Great insights Chuck. Thanks for documenting it.

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