Three threats to journalism

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Classical journalism is being forced out by:

– Guerrilla Journalism, driven by the Viral Editor;

– Brand Journalism, driven by content marketing;

– Robot Journalism, driven by news algorithms;

Threats t J 1

The third threat, Robot Journalism, poses the biggest danger. It will be pushing out of the scene not just bio-journalists, but also bio-marketers (and then, bio-people).

Content Marketing has been maturing for decades; we can count its years probably since Howard Gossage, McLuhan’s contemporary, said, “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”

Guerrilla Journalism (or amateur, or citizen journalism) appeared with the rise of the blogosphere and, particularly, social media. Huge numbers of experts and witnesses of all sorts have been covering everything of interest to them, which is everything of interest to their audiences, so that, since they are their audiences, their coverage fits their audiences very well. And then, the Viral Editor selects and distributes the best of the captured, providing authorial audiences with the best level of relevance.

While content marketing has about six decades of history, and Guerrilla Journalism has just a bit more than a decade, Robojournalism will explode content markets in the near future. In 2014, the news-writing robot of “Automated Insights” is estimated to have “written” ONE BILLION stories for mass media.

Nothing prevents it from writing however much more, except the bio-people’s ability to read all that stuff.

Though, this limitation will be overcome, when readers also become robotic.


Related links

An NPR Reporter Raced A Machine To Write A News Story. Who Won?

More News Is Being Written By Robots Than You Think

Robo-Journalist Reports on Quake – Should Journalists Quake? The LA Times uses a bot to quickly write stories on earthquakes and other to gather data for reporters on homicides and crimes. Will they replace journalists?

Will Robots Take Over Simple Tasks for Journalists?

In Case You Wondered, a Real Human Wrote This Column

The Robots Are Coming! Oh, They’re Here. (by David Carr)

Can Robots Do Public Interest Journalism?

Silicon Valley and Journalism: Make up or Break up?

The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media. The bot, named Blossom, helps predict how stories will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote.

Should media outlets tell readers the news was created by robots?

An Ethical Checklist for Robot Journalism

Bad News Bots: How Civil Society Can Combat Automated Online Propaganda


Andrey Miroshnichenko

Author of Human as media. The emancipation of authorship – available on Amazon



Categories: Future of journalism, Media ecology

Tags: , , , , , ,

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