Unfortunately for those who don’t cope well with change, the landscape of journalism is inevitably evolving. In 2017, we have seen the effects of media digitisation, and the consequences of somewhat questionable political choices (*cough* Trump *cough*). While we can’t be entirely sure of the way things will pan out by the end of the year, we can certainly make predictions, such as Rachel Sklar and Guy Raz have done for Nieman Lab.
According to Rachel Sklar, co-founder of online platform The Li.st, 2017 is the year where women are going to get loud. Sklar recounts to readers the misogyny surrounding the 2016 election, with its Clinton aimed smear campaigns and Trump’s sexist speeches. Her post is a call to arms for the women of America, rallying them to reject the male-dominated narrative and start creating their own.
From what we’ve seen so far this year I’d say Sklar’s prediction is pretty spot on. Thanks to social media and online publishing individuals are no longer passive consumers, but are able to engage and respond in ways the women of yesteryear could not. These platforms have become our strongest weapon in the fight for gender equality, birthing a new wave of female oriented media outlets with content generated for women, by women. I myself am a part of this army, engaging and supporting my female peers on Instagram via likes and comments.
Guy Raz’s prediction is in a similar vein, hypothesising that inspiration and hope will matter more than ever. 2016 was admittedly a pretty glum year, and this was evident in the news. Raz believes this steady stream of bad-news is leading consumers to stick their heads in the sand, a move that is not constructive to the functioning of democracy. With events like the Trump election offering little solace, he believes that it is time for news organisations to change their approach; to inspire and motivate audiences rather than fill them with despair.
Raz, I’m buying what you’re selling. While I know that news is news, and bad things do happen, one can’t help but get depressed by the over-saturation of negative stories. News organisations need to change the way they sell us news. Rather than making us feel like helpless pawns in a doomed world, they need to acknowledge, and help US to acknowledge, that we do have agency. We are individuals, but as a collective, looking at the bigger picture, we can invoke change.