Technologies That Will Define the Future of Journalism



Drones – or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – are a technology that was originally designed for use in modern war zones. It’s design has since been converted to suit the needs of commercial, government and civilian corporations. The news industry – as a civilian corporation – has created a form of drone journalism that has the potential to provide the public with far more dynamic news stories. Drone journalism is still a controversial new media technology, however, due to the ethical and legal concerns it creates.

Current implications:

  1. Increase safety.
    Drones can be used during disasters – whether manmade or natural – where it may be difficult or dangerous for journalists to report. In an extension of this, drones can also fulfil the role of journalist in areas of modern warfare. This will prevent the risk of harm to reporters in war zones, while also continuing the gathering of news content.
  2. Reduced cost for aerial shots.
    In addition, the use of drones will significantly reduce the cost news organisations currently have to pay in order to obtain aerial footage.



Wearable technologies are small and compact electronic devices designed to be worn by a user. They are a logical extension of Moore’s Law – i.e. that technology will double in speed, halve in size or double in efficiency every two years.

Future implications:

  1. User-specific stories.
    Wearable technologies are expected to take advantage of the users spatial environment (elements such as location, time of day and nearby items) to provide contextual storytelling. This will allow reports to generate news relevant to each individual.
  2. Point-of-view reporting.
    Investigative reporters will be able to use wearable technology to give their point of view while covering a news item. This will add additional depth to news packages, as viewers will be able to “walk in the reporters shoes” – effectively stimulating emotional, physical and/or psychological empathy.
  3. Immersive storytelling.
    Viewers will be able to use their wearable technological devices to view and interact with virtual news items. This will create an immersive form of storytelling, as it allows audience members to “choose” and “see” the information relevant or interesting to them. Examples of this are already being found online, such as The Des Moines Register’s virtual news item Harvest of Change.



Automated writing software’s generate news stories based on available quantifiable data. They aren’t programmed to be creative or insightful; that job is left to the human staff after more information became available. Rather, their sole aim is to get information out to the public as quickly and as accurately as possible. At the moment, such software is limited to formulaic journalism, such as sports, financial and political reporting.

Current implications:

  1. Frees journalists.
    By freeing up human intellect from the same repetitive stories – ones that need to be factually correct, but not hold an interesting prose – reporters will be able to focus on more important journalistic activities.
  2. Encourages better reporting.
    On the other hand, the introduction of automated journalism might encourage a higher-quality form of journalism. These writing software’s might not be our “competitors”, but our full-time research assistants, who can prepare data-base stories that we can supplement with our own thoughts and opinions. This transhuman mergence has the potential to produce articles that may be better than the efforts of either man or machine alone.

Future implications:

In the future, automated journalism is expected to begin a new dawn of journalism when it merges with other technological advances, such as individual tracking, browsing habits and mobile connections. This combination of high-speed news and individual information is predicted to create a journalism profession in which articles are specifically drafted for individuals of society. This means that although there will only be one reader per article, more people will potentially engage in news items, because they will appeal to each individuals’ needs.

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