Home Centennial College Blog 2018 April 06 Five ways contemporary Journalism is changing, and how to prepare for it.

Five ways contemporary Journalism is changing, and how to prepare for it.

Female journalism student at Centennial College

The news has always been an important part of how we see the world around us, and as culture and technology changes, what it means to be a Journalist, and to have a career in Journalism changes with it. Reuter’s recently completed a paper on the future of Journalism in 2018, in which they predict upcoming trends you’ll need to be prepared for if you want to become a news creator.

If you want to be prepared to enter the modern field of Journalism, Centennial College can prepare you for it with the Contemporary Journalism program. It’s a three-semester post-graduate program for experienced students, designed to better equip them for modern journalism. Technology has always changed journalism, which is why a program like this, which emphasizes the new tools, trends and directions in journalism is essential for any budding reporter looking to stay on the cutting edge.

The program equips you to deal with all of these emerging realities, and teaches you entrepreneurial and professional practice elements through a field placement, where you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate and refine your skills in a real-world environment. Here’s what’s coming in the world of journalism, and how the program will prepare you for it:

Credibility will be more important than ever in the era of “fake news”

Sourced, credible and verifiable storytelling is more important than ever in the modern journalistic world, where the phrase “fake news” has seen more prominent use. In fact, the report notes that “fake news” was the Collins dictionary phrase of the year in 2017.

The public is getting more concerned about bad journalism, political messaging, misleading stories, and outright fake pieces circulated on social media, and is predicted to respond with increased emphasis on media literacy, learning more about how to suss out fake, misleading or biased news. This is why credibility and sourcing will be especially important for new journalists, and how to remain credible in the modern world is something the program teaches.

Independent media will become more important

Public distrust in large news organizations that serve corporate interests is becoming a larger part of the public discourse on Journalism, and independent media not tied to a company will become more important as time goes by. In addition, many of those large companies are in decline, making it a good career move to join a smaller, independent news organization.

This is why the Contemporary Journalism program comes with an entrepreneurial element, since establishing yourself as an independent presence, or joining an independent organization will be part of your future.

The news relationship with social media will change

Speaking of public distrust, we’re also entering an era of increased wariness of social media platforms, and how they negatively impact the news cycle, with these platforms trying to become more responsible because of it. At the same time, related to the rise of independent companies, we’ll be seeing more attempts by companies big and small to pull back from their dependence on these social media platforms, in the name of having more control of how their news is seen and distributed.

In the Contemporary Journalism program, you’ll also be taught how to work with these social media platforms responsibly.

Horizontal and visual mobile storytelling will become more important

More people get their news through mobile phones than ever, making the smartphone the new newsroom. With this comes new methods of storytelling. “Horizontal Storytelling” is essentially stories with a “tap to advance” feature, as seen on Snapchat, Instagram, and other platforms. It’s based on the fact that it’s the easiest way to navigate on a mobile phone, and it’s primarily a visual medium, because pictures read better on phones than words.

Contemporary Journalism has a focus on making news for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets because of this and will teach you how to adapt the stories you want to tell to this method of delivery.

Audio-based journalism will grow and take on new forms

Audio based-journalism means two things: An increase in podcasting and audio content, and content created for voice-activated platforms like Alexa, or Google Wave. Reuters calls these devices the “next big disruptor,” and predicts them being in over half of American homes in the next five years. This means that online news will need to be both searchable and readable by these devices, something the Contemporary Journalism program’s focus on adapting stories to new media can prepare you for.

By Anthony Geremia