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Three jobs that journalists will do in 2050

Annalee Newitz
Chaos Communication Congress 27th (27C3) 2010
Indexed on
Mar 27, 2013
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27.5 MB

Print media are dying, but what is rising up to take their place? In this presentation, I'll answer that question by describing three new kinds of jobs for journalists that do not exist in mainstream print media. These jobs are: hacker journalist, data-mining reporter, and crowd engineer. I'll be describing what these jobs entail, and current examples of organizations already employing people to do them. My observations in this presentation are based on the nearly twenty years I have written for traditional print as well as new media publications, including zines like Bad Subjects and 2600, as well as mainstream media outlets like Wired and the Washington Post. I also created io9.com, the world's most widely-read blog devoted to science and science fiction. As I've watched friends and colleagues suffer through layoffs in the publishing industry, I've also seen the rise of new kinds of journalists who use technology to break stories in ways that would have been impossible even five years ago. Hacker journalists use everything from Perl scripts to open source mapping platforms to do investigative reporting (examples include writing at Ars Technica, as well as people working with the Ushahidi mapping platform). Data-mining reporters are people who analyze vast amounts of data to investigate issues from war crimes (using services like Wikileaks) to the stock market "flash crash". Crowd engineers work on crowd-sourced news sites like Reddit and Metafilter, writing algorithms and community software that makes it easy for people to share information. Like editors, crowd engineers can be very powerful figures who determine which information rises to the top. What these new journalists have in common is a newfound ability to aggregate and analyze information on a massive scale. Ultimately I'll explore how this changes the playing field in media, and why journalists of the future may be more powerful than ever before.

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