It is no secret that the American media industry is in turmoil, with many longstanding fixtures in print journalism either folding or forced to layoff staff. To better understand the changes in journalism, The Nation recorded a series of video interviews throughout 2009 and early 2010 about the future of media. Asking questions ranging from the specific (what are the technological tipping points that could spell the end of print) to the visionary (what will the media look like in five, ten or fifteen years), Journalism in 10 is an attempt to chronicle the changes in journalism today, and to better understand the future of investigative journalism. To get at some answers, we asked a range of journalists–television, print, online and radio; professional and student; optimistic and worried–to tell us what to expect of journalism ten years from now. The answers appear below (in video form) from:

David Schimke
Ana Marie Cox
John Nichols
Jane Mayer (on protecting sources post-9/11)
Jane Mayer (on investigative reporting)
Nick Penniman
Mark Luckie
Dan Rather
Student Journalists



AVENGING ANGELS

 

David Schimke

Editor in chief, Utne Reader

David Schimke spent ten years working for Village Voice Media as a staff writer, managing editor and media columnist. In this interview, he brings his perspective on alternative media, local reporting and “alt weeklies” to the series. Schimke stresses the role of the trained citizen journalist in shaping future coverage–and how mainstream reporters should learn to stray beyond the press conference model of news. The media landscape is expanding, and Schimke worries that writers won’t expand their scope alongside that, sticking to the world of e-mail interviews that don’t capture the entire situation.

For full-size video, click here.

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Ana Marie Cox

Former national correspondent, Air America

Anna Marie Cox speaks at the 2009 Nation/Campus Progress Student Journalism Conference about the future of journalism and what it means for young writers. Cox reflects on her experiences during the 2008 presidential election and proposes that we might see an influx of reporters that are hired by specific candidates to do opposition research and reporting.

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John Nichols

Washington, DC, Correspondent, The Nation

John Nichols speaks as part of a panel discussion at the 2009 Nation/Campus Progress Student Journalism Conference about the disconnect between old media models and a nonfunctional new media model for producing journalism. Nichols evokes history in noting that when our country was founded media was heavily subsidized by the government, and he proposes this as a model to strive for. Nichols is the co-author of The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again.

For full-size video, click here.

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Jane Mayer (on protecting sources post-9/11)

Staff writer, The New Yorker

Jane Mayer discusses the issues that come up when working on stories that fall under the category of “national security.” Speaking at The Nation‘s “What Will Become of Media” salon in the fall of 2009, she discusses the lingering chill of 9/11 on journalistic freedom and freedom of the press, highlighting the risks faced by anonymous sources and whistleblowers.

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Jane Mayer (on investigative reporting)

Staff writer, The New Yorker

In another segment from Nation salon “What Will Become of Media?” Jane Mayer offers a perspective on the troubling losses in the field of investigative reporting. Investigative reporting, which is a slow, expensive undertaking, has become a “luxury item” for many outlets, says Mayer. In 2003, 1000 foreign reporters were covering the Iraq war, and now there are under 100. “There used to be dozens of American reporters in Cairo,” says Mayer, “and now there are two–one from the New York Times, and one from the LA Times.” There is “so much more pressure on people who are still there, to write faster, write more, write cheaper stories.” Investigative reporting, too, requires taking chances: “You don’t always get what you’re going for,” Mayer explains.

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Nick Penniman

Executive director, Huffington Post Investigative Fund and founder, American News Project

Nick Penniman speaks at the 2009 Nation/Campus Progress Student Journalism Conference about the impending chaotic media landscape. Penniman predicts that in ten years major media outlets won’t dominate the conversation and instead smaller, independent outlets will have more of a voice. Unfortunately, this positive step will be matched with an even greater influx of gossipy, fluff content, as opposed to in-depth, thoughtful reporting.

For full-size video, click here.

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Mark Luckie

Author of Digital Journalists Handbook

Mark Luckie thinks that interaction will be key for future business models in media–involving what the user thinks not only in choosing your story but in packaging the story to provide the reader with more than just words. The people who affect the news, he argues, will not only just be those in the press room but the citizens speaking up, asking questions and getting answers.

It’s not enough to understand what needs to be done; the president has
to be willing to fight for it and, yes, take political risks.

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Dan Rather

Managing editor and anchor of Dan Rather Reports on HDNet, and the former anchor of CBS Evening News

Dan Rather weighs in on the positives and negatives of transitioning predominantly to online media. Speaking at The Nation‘s “What Will Become of Media” salon in the fall of 2009, he also recommends some books on the future of journalism that he thinks everyone should read.

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Student Journalists

Student journalists at The Nation and Campus Progress’s Annual Student Journalism Conference

“You’re going to have to know how to do everything,” says student journalist Sahara White at The Nation and Campus Progress’s Annual Student Journalism Conference, which students attended through the efforts of Campus Progress. Audio, video, photos, blogs–all will be part of the future of the media. But journalism programs haven’t yet adapted their programs, students say. “What the mainstream is will change,” says Easter Wood.

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