December Carnival of Journalism – Positive Predictions for Next Year

It’s that time of the month when a bunch of us journalists collectively get together to blog about something. I have the great honor of hosting this months “Carnival of Journalism” with the suggested theme: Predictions for 2009 with a positive spin. No small order. Hopefully this wash of posts will give you something to be optimistic about.

Charlie Beckett Kicks it off with a post entitled “Predictions for 2009: from Croydon to Kenya

Banking, voting, political campaigning, business and education are all being revolutionised by a device that gets around African official corruption, incompetence and logistical barriers.

Jack Lail (who recently brightened up my day with this) gives us some “pragmatically positive predictions. Hard times are ahead – but many of them will result in a greater good.

Are those positive predictions? From a pragmatist’s point of view, they look positively sunny with patchy gray clouds.

Doug Fisher (whose students are producing nice work) gives us 10 predictions for 2009 from Mobile to the statement…

Some media house is going to just blow it up and refashion itself into a social media site.”

Andy Dickinson thinks 2009 will be the “year of the journalist.” Andy makes an important distinction between media brand and individual brands. While the latter is having troubles – Andy thinks individual journalists will be able to step into their own.

“Whilst the idea that demand for content outstrips the supply of those
capable of creating may not ring true for most itâ??s clear that a
journalist with some web savvy, a good presence online and an
understanding of their audience is an increasingly valuable proposition.”

The ever interesting Paul Bradshaw plays devil’s advocate with the many predictions that 09′ will be the year we all go mobile. His post “What Won’t Happen in 2009 and What Will” begins with an emphatic “2009 will not be the year of the mobile web.” He closes the post with.

So by 2010, when the bids have been put in, funds released, and
pilots completed, we should see some very interesting new media indeed.

My friend and scholar Bryan Murley like many others had to dig down deep to come up with positive predictions for 2009. As he notes – these are tough times and it can be hard to see past the gray. But he does write a poetic verse near the end.

…the reason I think 2009 will be a turning point is because
higher-level editors and publishing types will begin to listen much
more acutely, and implement some of these ideas, because they will have
to in order to ensure the survival of their businesses.

Maybe thatâ??s not a prediction, but more of a prayer.

Adrian Monck has observations more than predictions – the kind of observations you can only get when reflecting on the greater lessons of history. He writes:

It seems to me that we have talked for years now of technology and communities
without ever stopping to ask what – if anything – might bind them
together. The assumption is that it is conversation, that the
connection simply enables and lo and behold the community pops into
existence. Well, conversation is not enough. You have to do something.

Ryan Sholin gives us five solid predictions in list-form about what he expects to see happen in 2009. He even goes to find the silver lining in the obvious grey clouds.

Fewer newspaper jobs means more local news startups:
As major metro news organizations continue to contract, consolidate,
and implode, more journalists will walk away from the press, but not
walk away from reporting.  Right now, most of this is happening at the
national level (think: Politico)
or in local blogs, but as more entrepreneurial journalists leave the
â??industry,â? more of them will start small businesses of their own, reporting on their neighborhoods.

Alfred Hermida our Canadian ally agrees with Sholin’s sentiments. He expects to see more guerrilla journalism at the community level. Like chicken noodle soup – that stuff is good for the soul.

I have yet to meet a journalist who said they went into the profession
for the pay. Perhaps the time has come for a realignment, moving away
from journalism as a for-profit business and emphasizing instead
journalism as a public good.

Now you may rock out to hope!

(when I listen to the lyrics of this song, I can’t help but think of the news industry)

And yes: This month’s carnival was hosted by a hipster.