Updated: Jul 5
A largely precarious state of the economy, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the rise of AI-generated articles – 2022 was action-packed on many fronts. It really tested the mettle of the news publishing industry.
But not all was gloomy as we transitioned to 2023.
Technology and innovation are being used to overcome the challenges of this new world
By Damian Sobczyk (Adobe Stock image)
We are seeing a rapid transformation in the news publishing industry. It is driven by technological advancements and changing consumer behaviors.
As journalists and news organizations strive to keep pace with these changes, it's crucial to understand the top trends shaping the industry.
In this article, we will explore the five key trends revolutionizing journalism and their impact on the way news is gathered, produced, and consumed.
1 - The rise of social media journalism
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A 2019 Pew Research states that more than 50% of the US adults get their news from social media either often or sometimes. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube lead on this front. A culture of instant news access has fueled this rise of social media and mobile journalism. It would be foolish for news publishers not to take cognizance of this trend in 2023.
The difference between traditional and social media journalism is not hard to fathom. Traditional journalism relies on the journalist to create a finished product for a news item. But in social media journalism, the essence of dissemination of news makes it an on-going story.
Mobile journalists saying, “Stay with us as this story develops,” sums up the essence of deveining instant gratification (aka real-time information) to readers.
It is no wonder that the entire world has now turned into a giant video reel, thanks to the smartphone present in everybody’s hands today.
2 - Artificial Intelligence in Journalism
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2023 can be termed as the year when AI has truly gone mainstream in the world of news and journalism. Here are some ways players in the news industry are using AI.
 AI-generated articles:
Artificial intelligence (AI) may assist human reporters with more tedious tasks, including long-form articles, in-depth analysis, and investigative journalism. Right now, journalists use AI only for routine and formulaic topics like stock market reports and analysis or sports scores.
 Transcribing Audio and Video Interviews:
By transcribing audio and video interviews, AI can help reporters save crucial time. Instead of transcribing audio or video interviews, it turns audio data into text. This helps journalists to concentrate on adding their expert opinions and get inferences from the narrative.
 Alert Flagging:
AI can go through large-scale datasets and notify journalists as soon as a pattern or anomaly appears in big data. It can provide publishers and content creators tools to spot false news and decrease its influence on their viewership.
3 - First party data instead of third-party cookies
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The news of Google phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome took the news industry by storm when the story came out in mid-2022. This meant that advertisers and news sites would find it hard to track the web activity of users. This, in turn, leads to challenges in remarketing and targeting.
With no third-party cookies to turn to, advertisers will now have to focus on first-party data. This is the data that is collected from the site itself rather than from third-party data. Initially, the challenge will be to put implementation measures in place that track such first-party data. But once it rolls out, the concept of aligning programmatic advertising with mitigating users’ data privacy fears will become more effective.
Another feasible alternative to third-party cookies is the work done on Privacy Sandbox by Google. This will work on privacy-preserving measures like tracking the observed topics of recently visited sites without any connection to any single person.
Such first-party data strategies will keep marketers and news sites busy in most of 2023 and 2024.
4 - Growing popularity of video content and live streaming
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With the rise of digital platforms and advancements in technology, news organizations are increasingly incorporating video into their storytelling methods.
This shift has had a profound impact on journalism. It has brought about a tectonic shift in how news is consumed, shared, and experienced by audiences.
Video content offers a dynamic and engaging way to present news stories. It allows journalists to capture the essence of events and convey emotions. They can use videos to provide visual context that enhances the understanding of complex issues. Whether it's through on-the-ground reporting, interviews, or documentaries, videos can bring stories to life in a way that written articles alone cannot.
Live streaming, in particular, has revolutionized the way breaking news is delivered. News organizations now have the ability to broadcast events in real time. They can now provide up-to-the-minute coverage that captures the attention of viewers around the world. Be it a press conference, a protest, or a natural disaster, live streaming can help in wider access in lightning-fast time.
However, with the growing popularity of video content and live streaming, challenges also arise. Journalists need to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented in videos. This is critical as misleading or false content can spread rapidly. Ethical considerations regarding privacy, consent, and the responsible use of video footage also become paramount.
5 – The emphasis on data-driven storytelling
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In 2023 and going ahead, data will become even more of a strategic resource for news and media houses. It is the blending of data gleaned from large datasets and distinctive narrative skills. When they come together, journalists can deliver context and clarity to a news story. They get to present complex or raw data into actionable insights for the benefit of those who will consume the news.
The access to a bigger dataset, better data visualization tools, and excellent quality of data led to the rise of data-driven storytelling in journalism. Here are some celebrated examples in this domain.
1 - Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight specializes in data journalism. It uses statistical analysis to report on topics such as politics, sports, and culture.
2 - The New York Times' “The Upshot” section uses data and visualizations to explain complex issues such as politics and economics.
3 - The Guardian's “Datablog,” features investigative reporting and data visualizations on various global topics. These include environment, health care spending, and life expectancy in the US. Take their popular 2022 visualization of Europe’s heat and fires as an example of how users could understand key concepts in a jiffy.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of journalism, we have seen many trends emerge in the world of news and media. We had a look at the top 5 trends, which we feel will make a big splash and have a ‘Stop Press’ impact on the industry.
Leave a comment and let us know which other trend you think will affect the news industry overall.
I’m Ehren Muhammad,