A Glimpse at the Future of Journalism

What will the news look like after the newspapers disappear? Journalists and analysts are once again thrashing around, tearing out their hair, spilling ink, and burning pixels over the fate of newspaper publishing. The latest catalyst: the bankruptcy of the Tribune Corporation. It's no secret that the..

What will the news look like after the newspapers disappear?

Journalists and analysts are once again thrashing around, tearing out their hair, spilling ink, and burning pixels over the fate of newspaper publishing. The latest catalyst: the bankruptcy of the Tribune Corporation.It's no secret that the industry's future is bleak, and death is always a worthy story. But you seldom read about ideas for completely overhauling the industry. I don't know why-music and cars get that treatment all the time. Perhaps it's too much to ask journalists to prescribe their own cure-like asking a surgeon to perform a heart transplant on herself. Yet the ideas do exist. A brilliant one is site was seeded with a grant from the Knight News Challenge, a competition that rewards start ups creating new platforms for journalism. is a clearinghouse for publicly funded journalism. Anyone can post news tips, and journalists can also pitch stories to users, who can then donate towards the reporting and writing of a story. Whether it lives or dies, the genius of is that, unlike basically every publication started in the last 100 years, it isn't based on ad revenues. If a story's worth reading, the theory goes, the readers should be willing to pay for it directly.To understand why that's unusual, it's important to realize that most newspaper profits don't come from subscription or newsstand sales, but rather from the advertisers. Industry observers still believe that this basic structure will hold online, though it likely won't be able to support massive organizations like Tribune Co. But the premise of basing some smaller version of old media on advertising is probably flawed, because advertising itself might rest on a rotting business model.Why? First, you could argue that we live in a world drowning in advertising and it has taught us to more effectively tune ads out. If we haven't quite learned that lesson, it's being accelerated online-revenues, per reader, are far lower online than they are for print. That pattern is interpretable in two related ways: First, ad impressions aren't as valuable online-for every ad dollar that a print reader brings in, an online reader brings in just 10 to 15 cents. That's due to the nature of the web, which has users actively seeking relevant information, so they can more easily ignore ads-rather than passively consuming them in a newspaper or an hour of television. Meanwhile, the web offers advertisers incredibly rich ways of tracking how well their ads are performing, which means it also provides a truer pricing mechanism for ads. Ads have thus come up wanting; they never were as worthwhile as the ad agencies and management consultants had hoped-and companies know that now.If the ad model is breaking down-which seems to be the case-journalism's production model needs a revision. That's the greatest promise of a site like It's a glimpse into the DNA of a new-media baby that's not even born yet. Once you've mulled its basic structure, it's easy to imagine dozens of alternative versions. For example, geopolitical consultancies are printing money by writing reports for firms operating in dicey regions. Journalists could do that same work, if they simply had a site connecting them with the proper clients. (As on, publishing rights could be structured into the deal.)The crossroads that media now faces recalls a similar situation from the interstice between the Renaissance and the Industrial age. At that time, the model that supported writers and the written word changed completely. Writers, who once depended on the largesse of a patron, suddenly had to earn their money from a publisher. (The changeover eventually led to the rise of advertising.) Early on, self-published pamphlets and myriad (scurrilous) "news" sources littered European streets.Sound familiar? We now live in the rubble of an obliterated system. We can hear a million new voices, on blogs and Twitter. The media is becoming more specialized-think of how narrowly focused the best blogs are-but also more trivial and shrill.My guess about the shape of publishing's future is that there won't be a "bridge" between this phase and the next. Rather, in a situation analogous to 200 years ago, we'll see the wholesale collapse of our present big-media system, and its replacement with another that severs the cord with advertising revenue. In the meantime, we'll get teases of the future, through sites like, as investors and charities like the Knight Foundation do the hard work of panning for new ideas.(Image: Derived from a photo by Flickr user eschipul.)
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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