Here are some of my thoughts on what will happen in the world of journalism this year as well as my wishes for what I think should happen. Overall, I think “news entrepreneurship” will enter the lexicon in major ways. Entrepreneurial ideas will be informed by a new sense of urgency over the impending loss of original journalism generated by both new and old news entities.
- More entrepreneurial news sites will launch, be they community news sites or statewide and national watchdog sites.
- Some news startups, however, will go out of business – victims of funder fatigue and failure to diversify revenue streams. The idea of serial entrepreneurship, so worshipped in Silicon Valley, will become a less-coveted reality in the news ecosystem as some startups doing original reporting are forced to shutter operations for lack of support.
- Journalism schools will recalibrate their convergence curricula to embrace media entrepreneurship, working to train students to launch and sustain media ideas.
- Social networking options will continue to provide robust outreach opportunities as well as listening posts for news creators.
- Some less-enterprising regional newspapers will go out of business or go digital-only, having failed to create a product their audiences want to read or buy.
- Information and opinion will be freely available. Enterprise, explanatory and investigative journalism will be prized commodities.
Here are a few things I hope will happen:
- Some enterprising news outlets, hammered by recurring downsizing, will abandon their anemic all-things-to-all-audiences approach and finally begin to design strategic portfolios of focused value-added coverage (six to eight topics) they can own – and that people might actually pay for – relinquishing the rest to aggregation or partnerships.
- Smart collaboration and networking among media partners will be the new normal. Check out some ways this can work in J-Lab’s new report on the Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Awards.
- Audience engagement will amp up. In some cases, we’ll see a return to face-to-face engagement. In other cases we’ll see some innovations for audience participation. These efforts will add to the drives for “open-source” and “transparency” and will better elicit enduring engagement with news consumers.