According to a study entitled "The Future of News" released today by Porter Novelli, citizen journalism, empowered and emboldened by social media and the Internet, is changing the future of traditional news.
"The future of news is filled with paradoxes," said Gary Stockman, chief executive officer of Porter Novelli, in a public statement. "People are able to get news whenever and wherever they want it; yet many don't bother. Mobile technology has led to a rise in citizen journalism; but that in turn has raised questions about the trustworthiness of news sources.
For the study, Porter Novelli polled experts, analyzed broadcast and online trend patterns and researched global data. Some key questions include:
1. What's the state of news today? What does the word "news" mean, and how is its definition changing?
2. As we witness a crisis in corporate news profit and sustainability, what's the new business model for news?
3. Where do targeted, customized 24/7 news feeds lead?
4. Are the lines between journalism, opinion and PR increasingly blurred by social media's influence on the news? What are the ethical boundaries of the new news and how do news consumers know what to believe?
5. How will technology shape the new news for the better - and how will technology threaten news?
"The Future of News" also looks back at the rise and impact of the 24-hour news cycle. In our hyperconnected environment, with an emerging generation of digital natives equipped with highly mobile technologies, will there be greater accountability—or more specialization, fragmentation and trivialization of content? News has long been criticized for contributing to a global dumbing-down of communication. Will an army of citizen reporters, not bound by traditional journalistic ethical standards, serve as an antidote or an accelerant?