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Blogmo Day 11: Notes for the Journalism Industry *from the Future*

December 11, 2008

So the newspaper industry is falling apart. The Chicago Tribune is filing for bankruptcy, smaller newspapers are folding, and even NPR is cutting back.

Is traditional journalism dead? No. Maybe. I think it might be like Jeff Goldblum towards the end of The Fly. But it certainly is going to change in the next 10 years, and it’s going to change a lot. What does the future of journalism look like? Let’s talk to the experts. You know, the science fiction movies that show us the distant future.

Example 1:

Seattle, 2021: In James Cameron’s (TM) Dark Angel, A trust fund kid decides to hack into governmental controlled broadcast systems in a corrupt police state after an EM pulse destroys all electronic records in mid-2009 (back up your hard drives! with paper!) Sounds like someone found a real old copy of 1984 in 2015. He goes by the psuedonym “Eyes Only”, and in a really smart move, broadcasts his actual eyes.


“I began working as an investigative journalist to expose the truth, but the truth brought a lot of enemies out of the woodwork. So I went undercover, and EYES ONLY was born. For years, with the help of a lot of good people, we’ve uncovered many wrongs and made them right. No matter what the dangers, this work needs to survive, and continue . . . ”

Yes, coming soon to a tinfoil hat blog near you. In this version of apoco-America, CAPSLOCKING THE TRUTH, THE TRUTH!!! has not been popularized. Small thanks.


Would you trust your journalism to this man?

Example 2:

Washington, DC 2054 (Hey, they still have the Metro! How’s the Silver and Purple lines working out?). While Tom Cruise is fighting crime with psychics and the iPhone 85th generation, the USA Today is still publishing a paper people read on the Metro! But wait…



Epaper +wifi update = paperless, breaking news within the newspaper in your hand.

Upside: less paper, still have something to hold in your hand like newsprint. Downside: That story you were reading on A3 gets bumped when Britney Spears’ gets checked into the hospital again. This technology technically already exists, but a commuter reading USA Today on the Metro? That’s stretching the bounds of believability.

Example 3: 2373, Terek Nor, Alpha Quadrant


Your dad’s the Federation Station Commander. But then there’s a war. Against shape-shifting beings. And while dad goes back to San Francisco to regroup, you stay on as a war reporter to cover the occupation, and then the occupier won’t send out your stories into subspace. You cry about “freedom of the press!” and the creepy shape-shifter tells you, “Please, tell me you’re not that naive”.

Where’s Ernest Hemingway when you need him?

I don’t mean to be completely flip, but the future of reporting really really shouldn’t assume print newspaper will outlive the Obama administration. Time to think science fiction style.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Adam permalink
    December 11, 2008 11:55 pm

    Purple line, ha. If Metro isn’t transcontinental by 2050 I’m going to be real disapointed.

  2. 4th Floor permalink
    December 12, 2008 7:24 pm

    Oh come on, Taylor! Sisko didn’t go back to San Francisco, he went to Starbase 375 to regroup! Real journalists fact check these sort of things. 😛

  3. December 12, 2008 7:55 pm

    @4th Floor
    You want me to FACT CHECK THE FUTURE? Man, I’ll never get into the Starfleet Press Corps at this rate.

    Also, you win all the nerd points for today. Live long and prosper.

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