Television changed the world. Just as the printing press allowed for an expansion of knowledge, the television became the average man’s way of getting fresh new information about the world s/he lived in. Unlike the printing press, though, the television closed off avenues of communication. People were being told by talking heads (or puppets, or what have you) that things were a certain way. If a viewer disagreed, they could write to the station which aired the show or to the producers who created it, or even to the talking head/puppet/whatever his/her/its self. But the odds of those being read, or being incorporated as corrections, was rather – well, minute.
The average person has no major club to swing at those who provide television save to not watch it or to complain to the sponsors who support a show. Things were much the same with the printing press – but at least then in the early years, if you were rich enough to buy paper and pen to send a letter, odds were good it would be listened to. Now, though, that’s not so much the case.
With television the world opened. Pictures came alive; the knowledge grew. Journalism migrated from one medium to the other with few hiccups; learning how to write for television news, for example.
The shift to television was just the beginning, though. Just as television networks are beginning to wrestle with the internet as a viable competition to good ol’ cable, so too is journalism trying to figure its way around the World Wide Web. A few sites have made impressive dents in making journalism reactive to the Internet Age – Huffington Post, for example. But with the internet branching out to be an all-encompassing cloud that swallows all it survives, journalism has to make the next big jump.
Journalism has to go… to 3.0.
What will be 3.0? Will it be a mobile device you carry around? We already have those – journalism has tried to get in on that wave, but so far has fallen flat. (Yes, New York Times, we know you’ve got an app. That doesn’t make you any more attractive!) Will the journalism of the future be an all access pass to information wet-wired directly into your brain? (And how wrong that could go!) Will journalism be created by dedicated journalists or by “citizen journalists”? How will Journalism 3.0 look and feel and act?
There is one thing which has to be done. Just as journalism transitioned from print to radio to television, journalism must transition to the new age. Which means, in a way, journalism has to re-invent the wheel. We already know what journalism is (in a vague, sort of kind of way). We just need to figure out how to get journalism out there. How to produce Journalism 3.0…