It's prediction time: what will 2010 bring for journalism? Foliomag, for example, has gathered 115 views from American media people in which Twitter and e-readers get plenty of mentions.
UK, Jon Slattery’s blog has a continuing series in which prominent media types pick the best of 2009 and predict what is to come. In best new media Twitter gets more votes than any other application, and under predictions there is confidence in hyperlocal and divergent views on paywalls – some say they are on the way, others see them as a handy divider between those who impose them (and fail online) and those who don’t (and succeed). UK
Adam Westbrook includes a wealth of new media startups and the growth of entrepreneurial journalism among his top 10 for 2010.
He also dubs it “the year of the hyperlocal” and sees more journalists training other journalists, with journalism students being a key force for innovation in storytelling.
Paywalls, he says, will work for really high quality content, but believes Times content doesn’t warrant a paywall.
For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts:
My prediction for 2010: Journalists and publishers will learn to use Facebook as a marketing and audience-reaching tool as effectively as other industries already are.
My best of new media in 2009: I’ve gone for three applications that have been perfected in the past 12 months: Facebook for giving journalists and publishers the perfect platform to find new readers virally and for drawing them back to our branded websites and print editions; Apture, for making it easy to add multimedia content to any text report; and Qik for making it simple to stream live geotagged video from your phone to your site or blog.
Here are some highlights for me from Jon Slattery’s contributors:
Best new media in 2009
Steve Busfield, head of media and technology for Guardian News and Media
Twitter. A name that annoyed old media world, but had to be embraced as a means of communication.
Patrick Smith, currently of PaidContent
Spotify is potentially a game-changer for the music biz and I'm a big fan. Also good are Audioboo, a mobile audio-blogging service (you can hear my boos here) and Soundcloud which allows you to store and send massive audio files, which is hugely useful for journalists these days.
Thomson Reuters iPhone app.
HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford
Twitter – fast becoming the most reliable source of good stories.
Jo Wadsworth, web editor of The Argus,
Help Me Investigate. A great idea, and it’s now beginning to take off and really prove its worth.
Steve Dyson, editor of the Birmingham Mail
Chris Wheal, journalist, editor and trainer
www.nujadm.org.uk- the student work experience project using Wordpress, Twitter, live blogging, youtube and Flickr.
Sam Shepherd, Digital Projects Co-ordinator, at the Bournemouth Echo
A predictable answer, but Twitter (if it still counts as "new", that is!)
Neil Fowler, media consultant and an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford
Press Gazette columnist Grey Cardigan
Does The Thick Of It count? Sheer brilliance. If not, then the amazing variety of YouTube content.
Predictions for 2010
Digital paywalls for (almost) all old media. Whether they work is the big question.
Newspapers will get smaller, some will close and more and more local websites covering specific areas will sprout up to replace the coverage communities are losing.
More and more regional newspapers refuse to fade away. If the big publishers do decide to close more titles, the best ones will either be picked up by smaller newspaper groups, as the Whitchurch Herald was earlier this year, or bought up by local entrepreneurs content to operate on smaller margins.
Hyperlocal start-ups start to make their staff a real living
That a slow but steady change in the ownership of regional newspapers begins to happen. That regional journalism starts to proudly shout about its exclusive content, and that more and more experiments sprout up to trial charging for this online.
Fewer full-time jobs, more freelance contracts and a deafening white noise of struggling print-only die-hards bemoaning the internet, blogging and Twitter for taking away work that they believe was rightfully theirs.
A widening gap between the newspapers and groups that push the boundaries of what can be done online and those that close down their online content, either behind paywalls or as part of a drive back towards the print product.
A staged swap of some regional newspapers to force the government's hand over ownership regulation (I said the same last year - but it's got to happen soon!).
More of a hope than a prediction: that local newspapers might return to local ownership, with sensible margins, a sensible cost base, sensible management and sensible resources. The game isn't up yet if we can prise the odd failing title out of the hands of the greedy mega-groups.