Advancements in media technologies have given society new ways to analyze and share information quickly across the globe. But changes in technology, business and governments have made funding the gathering, analysis and sharing of the information problematic.
My five biggest fears:
1. International professional, objective reporting will become unsustainable except for that from a handful of news organizations, minimizing citizens’ sources of information. Particularly, in-depth reporting on governments will become unsustainable, changing the balance of power between those governments and their citizens. New technology intended to filter the web for the good of society will instead be co-opted by some governments to stifle voices and access to sharing technologies. ( Open Net Initiative)
2. Local in-depth reporting will become rare and spotty, dependent on only a few reporters who can afford the research time within their news organizations. The need to target mass publications toward wealthier audiences will skew reporting to coverage of issues affecting those readers, taking away resources from coverage of issues affecting poorer audiences. Suburban zoning of newspapers, while sustaining those publications, could be a major factor.
3. Education, oversight and financial support of “citizen journalists” who can provide alternative ideas and points of view will also be spotty and rare. Successful online local sites like Baristanet will only have resources to cover routine, easily reportable subjects and will owe their livelihood to advertisers or sponsors who could hold great sway over the content of the sites.
4. The massive amount of data and opinion available with new technologies will obscure the holes in reporting and analysis of issues that affect average citizens, such as the increases in health insurance costs and higher education costs in the United States.
5. Honestly? I worry that all the jobs will disappear before I’m ready to retire.