Australia’s Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) launched its long-anticipated Life in the Clickstream: The Future of Journalism report. It is the culmination of industry research and regular events involving executives, journalists, academics and commentators, and aims to build an accurate picture of the extent and pace of industry change, to manage that change for the benefit of the whole industry and journalists in particular.
Among many thorny issues, the report asks: How will newsrooms look? How will journalists’ jobs change with technology and business conditions? How will journalism itself change?
There is no doubt that some new tools, developed almost daily, will allow journalists to tell stories in vivid and exciting ways, using video, podcasts and slideshows, running full interviews online, showing documents and research trails for a richer experience.
Christopher Warren, general secretary of the Alliance, writing in the reports foreword, notes that:
Today, journalism is fragmenting among a fascinating array of news sources and social networking sites. As well, its economic model is undermined as paid advertising migrates online. Worse, the present economic crisis promises to drive advertising revenues down further.
Like all crises, the challenges journalism faces are rewriting everything we thought we knew about the news media and causing us to question the very basis on which the industry has survived and flourished for a hundred-odd years.
Whether all newspapers will survive is no longer a parlour game but a genuine consideration.