Each year, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) conducts interviews with industry leaders to list potential trends for the coming year. The author of the 2022 report, Nick Newman, and his team spoke with 246 news executives from 52 countries and regions, including 57 editors-in-chief, 53 directors, and 31 heads of digital and innovation departments.
Here are 9 RISJ forecasts that could become this year’s trends in journalism, media and technology.
1. Subscriptions and membership fees are the top priorities
Although news consumption has decreased in 2021 in many countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, 73% of respondents have positive expectations from 2022. Thanks to reader payments, journalists value their work more. Thanks to this, 59% of the editorial offices have had revenue growth in the last two years.
In this article, we have covered the peculiarities of crowdfunding, its use in the local media and the difficulties.
2. Mainstream media will bring back professionals who have moved to other platforms
In previous years, many journalists left the newsrooms and started their own business, for example, in Substack and other paid platforms, although not all of them were successful. These people are likely to return to mainstream media this year, while editorial staff must provide the right conditions for independent creators to continue working on their podcasts and newsletters.
3. Podcasts, newsletters and videos will become even more important
Most media outlets that were surveyed plan to invest in podcasts and other digital audio materials, newsletters, and digital videos in various formats to increase public engagement.
Social platforms, in turn, invest in the creation and management of audio content, which will increase competition and, in general, increase the consumption of audio content.
Live videos are experiencing a renaissance, mainly due to the influence of virtual events organized during the epidemic. Short videos continue to “win” thanks to applications with billions of users like TikTok and Snapchat. But this does not mean that the media succeeds on such platforms, RISJ has previously found that people mainly follow celebrities and influencers, so it is not so clear how journalists will use those platforms.
4. The basic working model will remain hybrid
Although the field is being “cured” of the pandemic, and some editorial offices are in a hurry to bring everyone back to the offices, most organizations prefer to come to the office sometimes, sometimes work remotely, and some work full-time from home. According to many employees, they find the best work-life balance when working from home, while managers worry about creativity, collaboration and loss of communication.
Hybrid editions can only succeed if leaders begin to speak more appropriately to their teams and take care of their mental health.
5. Many solutions, few conflicts
Both the journalists and the readers are tired of the chain of constantly negative news. The RISJ anticipates the development of more constructive coverage formats, which will also be introduced by editorial editors, who are already questioning traditional ways of creating news.
6. Focus on security
While online, physical harassment and attacks on journalists continue, the media hastens to ensure the safety of employees and organizes seminars to improve its quality. To avoid polarizing debates online, media organizations are considering tougher rules on social media to help avoid insults and boost public confidence.
7. Climate change coverage
Although scientific evidence points to the need for immediate action against the irreversible effects of climate change, the media fails to impress the reader with that content. There are several reasons: The slow pace of change, which does not allow it to be covered like other issues, the vague prospects, the lack of professionalism of journalists in the field, the limited financial resources to cover the subject, the complexity of science and the pressure of directors and advertisers.
Hiring journalists with experience in the field of science will become the priority of the editors.
8. Platforms and rules
The growing role of social media in online misinformation around COVID and various events is forcing technology platforms to regulate. The European Union sees a solution with its Digital Markets Act, which addresses anti-competitive behavior among big players, and the United Kingdom is pushing for an Online Safety Bill to crack down on illegal and unsafe content. platforms.
9. Artificial intelligence and the metaverse
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being modernized in editorial offices. 85% of the surveyed news outlets think that it is important to create personalized content for the readers. Organizations also want to use AI tools to speed up some editorial functions in investigative journalism and subscription modeling.
After Facebook became Meta, the attention to the metaverse has increased. The metaverse is a common online environment that unites users in virtual or augmented reality. Soon, we will see more interviews in the metaverse.
Although some names and passages in the RISJ report may seem distant and inapplicable in the local press, most of the trends are feasible in Armenia as well. In particular, the laws that have created financial problems in the sphere in recent years can become an occasion for the Armenian media to seek alternative income.