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More Important, But Less Robust? Five Things Everybody Needs to Know about the Future of Journalism

This report identifies five things everybody needs to know about the future of journalism from research done at the Reuters Institute.

  • First, we have moved from a world where media organisations were gatekeepers to a world where media still create the news agenda, but platform companies control access to audiences.
  • Second, this move to digital media generally does not generate filter bubbles. Instead, automated serendipity and incidental exposure drive people to more and more diverse sources of information.
  • Third, journalism is often losing the battle for people’s attention and, in some countries, for the public’s trust.
  • Fourth, the business models that fund news are challenged, weakening professional journalism and leaving news media more vulnerable to commercial and political pressures.
  • Fifth, news is more diverse than ever, and the best journalism in many cases better than ever, taking on everyone from the most powerful politicians to the biggest private companies.

These five trends will impact the work of professional reporters as well as everybody who works with them and relies on them, from the general public to politicians, NGOs, and private enterprise.