If you’ve had the misfortune of being around a newsroom, you’ve probably heard of the Nieman Foundation. It was founded in 1938 by the widow of the founder of The Milwaukee Journal.
The think tank finances several projects, including the Nieman Journalism Lab, founded in 2008 to study why the profession was going to hell while tiptoeing around the elephant in the room. (If I have to spell this out, stop reading.)
Every year, the lab invites “some of the smartest people in journalism” to make off-the-cuff predictions. Here are some (names redacted to protect the future unemployed):
“It’s time to start bringing in feedback, context, and community to our sites.”
“2016 is going to be the year when the professionalizing podcast industry finds out if it’s able to earn its place in the media big leagues.”
“In 2016, design will be a tool for journalists to scope out a widened role in our new digital media landscape.”
“By choosing to prioritize national outlets over local ones, these platforms are going to accelerate the decline of local journalism. In 2016, we should all be aware of the unintended consequences of that choice.”
To which this orange cat replies:
Feedback? Newsrooms don’t want no stinkin’ feedback, especially from those who don’t confirm their obvious biases. Podcasts will never live up to the hype. Stupider newspaper editors still think it’s about the design and not the news. The last guy is right; more local journalism is lost every year.
Among the comments from the children, there was this from Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times: “We should resign ourselves to decades of instability, which in these days of diminishing attention spans is pretty close to a permanent condition.”
Well said, Mr. Keller.