Innovate blur

How to spark innovation in your own thinking (journalism edition)

This post is part of the latest Carnival of Journalism group-blogging thought exercise. The question (posed this month by Donica Mensing, associate professor of journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno): “How do you spark innovation in your own thinking, your newsroom or classroom? What techniques do you recommend?” Well, I’m game to tackle that…

Keep it secret

New Secret app offers escape from our transparent society

Privacy or transparency? Can’t we have both? … This past week brought the public debut of Secret, a new iPhone app (Android coming later) that I predict will be a hit, because it comes at a time when it’s increasingly difficult to keep secrets or have any semblance of digital privacy. And while initially it…

The Circle

How a sci-fi dystopian vision can improve the future

Futurists deal with scenarios. With a single future for any industry or important issue impossible to predict accurately, the best way to forecast what is years or decades ahead is by working with multiple (plausible) scenarios, and going from there — say, to developing solutions to societal problems that accompany respective scenarios (of climate change,…

news-futurist-concept

Part of a very small tribe: CNN’s news futurist

Where have all the full-time news futurists gone? … Oh, yeah, there have been so few in the news industry, it’s no wonder that most news companies have trouble grappling with the future. The New York Times hired author and futurist Michael Rogers as “futurist in residence” from 2006 to 2008. Rogers previously worked at…

newspaper_crumpled

Have we hit rock bottom with local news yet?

While I’m usually on top of news-industry news, I confess to not spotting this until today (thanks to Journalism That Matters‘ latest newsletter): an indicator of the plummeting quality of some (maybe many) newspapers after years of cost-cutting. Can it get much worse than this?… On November 6, 2013, the day after Election Day, the…

Carnival of Journalism

Advice for student news media: Be radically experimental!

It’s back! The Carnival of Journalism. Hip, hip, hooray! Huh?! The Carnival is a monthly online gabfest of (mostly) journalists who all agree to answer a common question, usually related to the future of journalism, on their respective blogs. It’s being resurrected by David Cohn, a.k.a. DigiDave, after a break. (There were other breaks before…

Existence promo

In David Brin’s ‘Existence,’ a sci-fi journalist relies on credible smart mobs and ubiquitous connection

If you want to have an idea of what the future (or various futures) might look like, I hope you’re a fan of science fiction. The best sci-fi novelists, including author/futurist/scientist David Brin, are adept at extrapolating possible futures based on emerging technologies, scientific discoveries, and societal trends that are just beginning to exhibit themselves…

Exponential growth

Exponential speeding up of disruption: It’s media’s challenge to deal with it

It’s fair to say that the majority of media executives, and practitioners too, have had trouble in the last decade-plus keeping up with the pace of technological advancements and the disruptions they’ve caused for media companies. It’s equally a fair bet that most of the aforementioned people expect digital-technology advances to continue, and for more…

Jetsons news future

Partners, funders, collaborators needed to bring futurists to news industry

What if the news industry had hired futurists to scan the technology and social horizons back in the late 1990s and early 2000s? Perhaps with some long-range thinking and foresight injected into news organizations’ decision-making, the industry wouldn’t be such a mess as it is today. Perhaps thousands of journalists would not have been laid…