Innovation in 2017

Mending Relationships; the Media and the Public

Written by Tessa Randello

The relationship between the media and the public is a strained one and 2016 was not a good year for us, with rise of social media and the fake news epidemic.

There is hope for this relationship yet, Natalie Malinarich and P. Kim Bui have some solutions to this age old relationship in their NiemenLabs predictions for journalism in 2017. Their suggestions are very different but both go to the heart of working with the public to repair the relationship that has slowly deteriorated. 

Their predictions and suggestions for 2017, I think, are based on the assumption that the public has lost trust in the media, because they can not distinguish between a credible or false publication.

“If you mother tells you she loves you, check it out. It’s what we’re taught early on as journalists, but we now need to pass the lesson on to everyone else,” said Bui

Bui asks us to open up journalistic practices in her prediction and to explain how we get the conclusions that we do. To teach the public their own media analysis to almost create two way journalism. This way the audience will be able to trust the reputable news sources again.

I think this is a good idea in theory but it could slow down production of news and almost reduce the impact of storytelling. So while I agree that “It’s time for newspapers to go back into grade schools and teach children,” I don’t completely agree with the idea that every story should be explaining how we create stories.

Natalie Malinarich’s prediction for journalism in 2017 is to make it more screen friendly to win the war of the lock screen.

Her prediction is titled “Making it Easy” but in saying this she doesn’t believe that we should be dumbing down journalism but learning technological language that makes it easy to access, download and enjoy.

She asks us to “spare a thought for the audience. How do they make sense of what to consume, what to tap on, what to follow, and what to share?”

I think that by forming stories based on the way people use their phones, paired with a knowledge of media analysis will make reading the daily news as distracting as a Facebook notification.

I completely agree with Malinarich’s prediction that we should use the technology available to create a different kind of journalism, more engaging and more diverse in techniques. Just placing a video at the top of an online news story just isn’t going to cut it anymore. 

About the author

Tessa Randello