Future news

Journalism changes with evolving means of distribution. We have gone from the Town Crier to Newspapers to Web-based news to alerts on your phone.

With each evolution in the means of distribution, our patterns of news consumption change. This in turn changes how news is distributed.

Currently, if you get a news alert, you need to stop whatever conversation you are having in order to read and digest it. But just because delivery of news is like that now, doesn’t mean that delivery of news will need to be like that in the future.

Once wearables become ubiquitous, you and I will no longer find it necessary to interrupt our conversation in order to look at or listen to a news item. All of the information we want will appear to be floating in the air in front of us.

And that in turn will lead to interesting changes in how that news is delivered. News will no longer be packaged to be consumed during the times when we are alone, but will rather become intended source material for us to consume during our face to face conversations.

We will become used to maintaining the richness of eye contact, facial expression, body language and gesture, while also having the news of the world filter into our discussions with each other as we speak. Consequently, that news will become more granular.

At the same time, news providers will begin to provide unobtrusive means for us to navigate the news together, without interrupting our conversation. As we discuss a news feed with each other, we will continually be making cooperating decisions about how to explore that news feed together.

This will become a new kind of skill, a facility for cooperative conversational navigation of the news, which will become so ubiquitous that people won’t even realize they are doing it. Sort of like the ability to read is today — a skill that is near-universal in many parts of the world, which would seem completely astonishing to a person from a pre-literate society.

3 Responses to “Future news”

  1. Stephan Ahonen says:

    I can’t read something and comprehend it while simultaneously listening to something and comprehending it, and I suspect most people can’t either. The human brain can’t multitask like that.

  2. admin says:

    I totally agree!

    That is why the future more granular form of news feed will inevitably take the form of a kind of conversational turn taking. You won’t be hearing the news while you are talking, or while your friend is talking. Rather, the information will come in during the brief pauses when neither of you is speaking.

    In short, all of the rules of conversational turn taking still apply. For context, envision that you and your friend are hearing some gossip from a third person, but replace that third person by a future news feed.

  3. Boris says:

    I admire your ability to clearly articulate dystopian visions without passing judgement. Onward!

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