Monday, October 7, 2013

Seminar 3 topics

Please see the blog post with the instructions for seminar 3.

1. Manipulation and bias online and offline

It can be argued that beyond pure censorship, media (newspaper, radio, tv) always “manipulate” the news in different ways when choosing, preparing and producing them. This can perhaps be avoided on the internet by combining multiple sources about the same event. Or do new technologies allow for ever-more-devious manipulation and bias online than what was ever possible offline? But filtering can on the other hand also be seen as a service (performed by software or an experienced editor). See further the concept of “filter bubbles”.

2. Free news?
News are free of charge on the Internet. Or are they not? What are the present and future “costs” (personal, societal, integrity-wise) of reading “free news”?

3. The future on local news
Sofie Abrahamsson talked about current and near-future trends. What is the future of local news in a 10-20 year perspective? Will we care about local news more than ever or not at all? If so, how?

4. The future of crap journalism
“Crap journalism” is a nightmare scenario to news people. But what is crap journalism and crap news? Do we have it today, will we have more of it in the future? Invent the future of crap journalism?

5. The future of journalists
How does technology reshape the role of journalists? What does the future of journalists look like? Will they create content or “only” curate it?

6. New News
Several guests have referred to Handelsbanken’s new TV channel. Seen as a case, what exactly is this an example of? Are there more/similar examples out there? What are the implications?

7. News-by-algorithms
Will algorithms replace editors? Can algorithms (perfectly?) match your personal preferences with news content? What would the implications for news be if Amazon produced your newspaper (“people who read… also read…”)? Nicklas Lundblad mentioned “Knowledge taste networks”. What are they? How will they work?

8. Citizen-based participatory journalism
What would a citizen-based participatory-journalism app look like? Oscar Westlund mentioned it (as the road not taken by GöteborgsPosten) - you’ll design it!

9. Sumo wrestler collaboration
Oscar Westlund told us the story of the sumo wrestler (legacy media) and his new competitors. Or are they rather collaborators? What would a sumo-collaboration-project of the future look like?

10. Filter bubbles and serendipity engines
Information overload (a bad signal-to-noise ratio) -> filtering -> bias, “filter bubbles” -> serendipity engines. Is this a picture of the future? Is something missing? Are the implications for the most part positive or negative? What will come next? What are the implications for news (and for democracy, for media’s “watchdog” function etc.)?

11. Räntekartan+
Ola and Olle from SvD talked about databases + powerful journalism + political power/reach (“data journalism” is the name of an ongoing research project at Södertörn University). Räntekartan (“The interest rate map”) was inexpensive to set up and had many beneficial effects for SvD. So, what comes after Räntekartan, Hyreskollen etc.? What’s the next project? Envision it and make it come true (conceptually)! Will “data journalism” be followed by “big data journalism”?

12. News intake
How can the news(papers) be better at finding the interesting and useful tips in a sea of less-relevant and less-interesting “help” from the general public (through telephone calls, mail, forms, photos etc.). 

13. Vacuuming social media for leads
Ola and Olle from SvD mentioned that it was hard to get the general public to contribute with information about public transportation delays (“The waiting map” - Väntekartan). Could that information be “vacuumed” from social media through hashtags or by other means? And what is the use of large-scale “sentiment analysis” (gauging “the mood of the nation” through social media - as is done by the military and emergency authorities)?

14. Changing media landscape winners
There is more money in media, but less money in print ads. Newspapers have been the losers, but who gains and who are the winners? If we “follow the money”, will we find out where serious quality journalism we be practiced in the future? 

15. News and geography
Kristiansen/Schibsted preached that geography matters online in a variety of ways. Blocket is local, you buy stuff locally so advertising is always local too. What is the future of nearness and geography in an Internet-world without borders? What news are global, what news will be local and what does the interface between them look like? What is the role of geography of the future of news?

16. The future of ads
Kristiansen/Schibsted talked about intermediaries and the increasingly complex ways that publishing houses, media agencies and advertisers “meet” today. What is the future of ads (in a post-cookie world?)? Will ads be voluntary and what would the implications then be for newspapers and/or news?

17. The second screen
Kristiansen/Schibsted talked about the second screen, the screen you have on the side when most of your attention is focused on the first screen (the TV for instance). What is the future of the second screen in the future of news? 

18. Death of media houses
Large media houses were necessary when the costs of starting/printing a newspaper or broadcasting radio and TV were high. Now they aren’t. So what does the future of news look like when the dinosaurs are dead and the smaller, nimbler players range free (c.f. the Shirky text we read at the first seminar).

19. Death of reading
Aftonbladet does a lot of TV production online nowadays. Is this part of a trend where text is substituted by graphics, images, audio and video? What will news look like after we stop reading them? What happens to concentration, patience and reflection as well as ability to accept and think about new ideas and impressions? How will it affect the quality of news? What is the connection between reading and (quality) news?

20. Wants vs needs
What happens when journalists focus on giving people what than want, rather than what they need? What is the social mission and the social responsibility of news? Something? Nothing? What are the implications for News of the Future? (This topic might be close to “The future of crap".)

21. The future of broadcast news/The future of public service
What is the future of broadcast news? How will TV and/or radio news evolve in the future? Will everything migrate online or will we still have analog broadcast? How will broadcast news adapt and what will it look like? This topic could also be connected to the future of public service (e.g. for example Swedish Radio, Swedish Television, BBC, National Public Radio etc.). 

22. The future of audio
A lot of emphasis is placed on text on paper or screens or on moving images, but what about pure audio in the form of radio or podcasts? What is the future of the human voice and intimate storytelling that is delivered right into your ears (perhaps while you jog, or do the dishes, or take the bus)? Does radio/audio have a "news future" and if so, what does it look like?

23. Smart home news network
With AI in the home, news selection and consumption could be customized. Develop a vision and a scenario for the Smart home news network (or something). How could The Future of News be married to AI in the home environment, what would the outcome be? 

24. News storytelling 
New York Times Op-Docs project provides a platform for short opinionated documentaries. Journalistic neutrality is not necessary and artistic, compelling storytelling is possible. What are the implications? Will artistic presentation of a story and point of view become an important component of the future of news? Will storytelling trump “getting the facts right” in video and elsewhere?

25. Feel TV 
Science Fiction author John Barnes (“Mother of Storms”) describes a way of recording not just what the journalist sees and hears (taken directly from the brain), but also the journalist’s feelings and emotions while experiencing events that become “news”. (There has also been movies to the same effect but not focused specifically on news.). What parts of this vision could come true in the next 10 to 20 years? What would the effects be on the production and consumption of news? (A group chose to develop the chilling concept “BrainChip” when we did “The Future of Music” three years ago and the research is indeed falling in place…).

26. The future of the newsroom 
Beyond stuff happening in the world, the Newsroom is where event go to be shaped into “news”. What is the future of the very place where news are born - the Newsroom? How are current and future developments reshaping the newsroom already today? What does the convergence newsroom look like (people, connections, organization, routines, technologies and equipment…)? 

27. Slow journalism
Is there room for "slow journalism" in the age of the Internet. The Slow Journalism company apparently think so. Their magazine "Delayed Gratification" has the slogan "last to breaking news". What is the role of slowness and time for reflections today and ten years from now? Does slowness has a role to play in the future of news or is it a thing of the past? 

No comments:

Post a Comment