For those who found value in yesterday’s media piece, here’s a much, much longer and richer take on the future of news from Steven Berlin Johnson. No, he doesn’t have all of the answers either, but there are a ton of powerful ideas in there that will ultimately help those who do come up with the answers. Among them: an increased focus on the hyper-local, borne of the realization that while we may lament the loss of the city daily because there won’t be a metro section anymore, that metro section never covered what we wanted to see anyway. Neighborhood reporters and bloggers — who will ultimately fit into some form of filtering/aggregation system — will one day make us wonder what we ever did for local news before.
The same goes for sports coverage, I would argue, as team, sport, and subject-specific blogs become increasingly refined, reliable, and findable. The big question — and one near and dear to my heart, of course — is how you compensate people under such a scenario, which I think is pretty essential. Maybe not immediately in that there are and always will be a ton of great amateur blogs out there and some level of amateurism actually ads some depth to the party. But ask yourself: how many good blogs have you seen close shop because the author’s professional or personal life demanded it? I can think of several. Maybe that doesn’t yet matter all that much, but in a brave new world in which people are truly getting their content from multiple sources, won’t we want at least some level of continuity?
Anyway, just one of many things to chew on in Johnson’s piece.