Secteur d'activité : Médias et industries de contenus
Type d'incertitude : Méduse Noir
Nature de l'incertitude : Technologique
Point de vue : Outsider
The consumption of information has shifted over the past decades. While the concept of news is traced back to being one of the oldest human activities, the Merriam-Webster dictionary still defines news as “material reported in a newspaper or news periodical or on a newscast”.As we now know, the emergence of technology marked several milestones in the history of news (print, radio, television). New media rapidly became convenient tools to share information more rapidly (with the emergence of the Internet) and almost in real time (social media), but also enabled a shift towards different communication platforms with the advent of podcasts and online streaming. This revolution led to the ease of news accessibility for a global audience, and also enabled anyone to publish online, changing the way we are exposed and consume news today. But how will emerging media influence consumption trends in the future?A Shifting Culture A recent survey from the PEW Research Center in 2020 showed that eight-in-ten adult Americans get at least one news via digital devices (whether smartphones, computer, or tablet). The trend makes it challenging for news outlets to focus on producing content on a single channel. Therefore diversifying their offer and embracing a multi-channel strategy became key to meet the current demand, remain relevant, and be part of the key players in the news field nowadays.For example (but not only), the New York Times publication rapidly diversified its content across platforms: print, and online, and social media, but now also produces audio podcasts, and video series (available through streaming devices) which enables it to target a more diverse audience by meeting different needs.Another trend that has been observed is the type of news that is being consumed. The Quality of the Media report from the University of Zurich in 2019 showed that people consume news in a more targeted way and are less interested in bundled news as a direct consequence of the multi-platform use to consume news.The Ease of Social Media Use and Accessibility In America, about half of its adult population declares getting news from social media on a regular basis. This is also the platform where a younger part of the population is regularly active (eg Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) by documenting their daily events or activities. The trend of constant documentation led to a new kind of journalism enabling amateur live coverage of events which is often used by reputable publications to support their own news stories. Self-Managing Misinformation Nevertheless, the evolution of journalism and the ease of use and accessibility exposes the same global audience to an overwhelming flow of information across platforms leading to very well-documented misleading information better known as “fake news”. Often witnessed in a political or in a crisis context, fake news is published with the goal to influence views by spreading false information.Best Practices (Conclusion)In an era where technology keeps evolving and information sharing is accessible to the majority of the population, earning the audience’s trust is key. While fake news will most likely remain part of the equation, the way trustworthy publications and organizations can be successful is by ensuring transparency about their sources, enabling a potentially skeptical audience to fact-check information rapidly. In the future, emerging technologies may also enable news consumption through experiences supported by artificial intelligence and virtual technology. Social media will most definitely remain a key player in the way we consume news.Thus, it is important to monitor social media closely, scout emerging trends and tools, and to diversify the news platforms in order to meet an increasing digital demand.
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