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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Nieman Lab shares journalism predictions for 2013



What will 2013 bring for the news industry? Ask the Nieman Journalism Lab, which recently interviewed several journalism analysts to talk about their New Year forecasts. Many observers believed that trends that started last year or earlier – like the rise of data-driven journalism and the proliferation of mobile news apps – will continue to mature in 2013.

For newspapers, veteran journalist Martin Langeveld predicted more companies will continue to move away from the seven-day publication business model. Citing plummeting print revenues and the growing use of tablets to read news, the paper product will increasingly become the “niche byproduct” of digital-first publications.

For Kevin J. Delaney, editor-in-chief of business online publication Quartz, efforts to find “boldness and creativity” in smartphone news interfaces will accelerate in 2013. Due to growing Internet access around the world, Delaney believed it’s very possible that “the most interesting consumer interfaces for reading news develop outside of the U.S.”

And while not a prediction, Delaney said he hoped 2013 will bring sufficient advances in machine translation to allow U.S. publications to become more accessible to audiences in other parts of the world, and foreign publications to become more accessible for U.S. journalists gathering information.

Amy Schmitz Weiss, a journalism assistant professor at San Diego State University, said that tools for consumers to access news – and for journalists to organize information – will continue to proliferate, especially in mobile devices. Demand will lead to more location-focused services and data-mapping software, Schmitz Weiss said.

Dan Gillmor, founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said that 2012 underlined the value of numbers in journalism and, this year, news consumers will demand more evidence and less spin:

Indeed, journalists in all arenas — politics in particular — will stop quoting “both sides” of issues when one side is lying, or at least they’ll feel obliged to tell their audiences that one side is lying. Their sources will be upset in many cases, but there will be an added benefit here as well: Once it becomes clear that news media plan to hold the powerful accountable, journalists will forfeit their coziness with the powers-that-be in politics, business, and other fields.

David Hirschman and Laura Rich, cofounders of media and research company Street Fight, predicted that despite the controversy surrounding hyperlocal news syndicator Journatic – which falsified bylines in 2012 – organizations will continue to move toward the automatization and outsourcing of local news coverage, which will allow skilled reporters to focus on quality stories.

Visit the Nieman Lab's website to read their other predictions.



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