While everyone talks about how news organizations are losing more and more money each year and what kind of impact that will have on their ability to reports and cover the news I think that’s not the only issue to think about when thinking of the future of news. While the economic realities are very serious and have had major impacts at many news organizations, there is also another trend going on. Jeff Bezos recent purchase of the Washington Post Company for $250 million is an uplifting and inspiring sign for news gathering. He has the money to keep the paper going as long as he wants to and also has out of the box ideas that could make it profitable. Another excellent example is Rupert Murdoch purchasing Dow Jones & Co. for The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Murdoch has expanded coverage in the paper to include politics, sports, local news; which in turn has made the Journal a better newspaper. Before the purchase WSJ was the business newspaper of record. With the added cash the paper has expanded coverage and he did not turn it into Fox News2 as many feared. I think the future of news organizations is that there will be fewer of them but the big ones will stay around even if kept alive by one the many billionaires around.
What I think is more interesting about the future of news comes from what dozens of people have told me on twitter; that they don’t go to news websites or read newspapers, they come to my twitter feed to see what the important news of the day is. First of all that is a huge compliment, so any of you that have expressed that to me I am greatly humbled. But, to me, that’s really where the future of news lies. Where people will go to get their news. In 10 years from now people might only get their news from people they trust to pick out the need to know and interesting to know. As that does change the balance of power a bit, it doesn’t all that much. Because people like me, and many others, get the news from the trusted news organizations like Washington Post, New York Times, WSJ to name a few.
I do think this is the path people consuming the news are going in. Just as 15 years ago people got their news from the daily newspapers, I believe in 5 or 10 years people won’t be going directly to newspaper or magazine websites. But rather they will come to people they trust to get their news. It’s always been my goal to give coverage of both sides of a story. I would never include ridiculous rantings from the Palin’s of this world, but when Obama screws up I give it top coverage. When Obama scores a victory I give it top coverage. People shouldn’t only seek out the news they want to hear, they should seek to be informed and make up their own minds. That’s why I always tweet stories from left leaning NYT and WaPo and also right leaning WSJ and Politico.
In 30 years from now I am sure we will be receiving the news in a completely different manner as well. What’s most important is that people want to be informed.