media update’s Jenna Cook uncovers five innovative trends that are changing the journalism industry.

More and more journalists pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling. And whilst there are many things changing in the world of reporting, there are a few trends making a major impact on the industry already.

Take a look at these five trends:

1. Mobile video journalism

Smart phones have opened up the world of reporting by making it possible for journalists to cover a story and reach their audience – wherever they are – at the same time.

Mobile journalist Philip Bromwell says, “How many other ‘cameras’ would allow me to shoot and edit a story, go live on location and connect me directly to our audience via social media?”

“Plus, it’s the camera I always have with me. I’m continually impressed with the quality of the pictures – particularly the sharpness of close-ups. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of ‘re-thinking’ how I approach the story, using this different device.”

Journalists can use their personal devices to create short-form content, cover stories using new apps and be in close communication with their audience. This means that journalists are able to give readers access to the latest content, no matter where in the world they are.

2. Automated storytelling

Robot writers have the ability to generate stories that can be understood with numbers – financial reports, sport fixtures, etc. These stories are crafted automatically and with few errors.

A powerful combination of human and robot writing will create new possibilities for the media industry.

“The future of automated storytelling is the seamless blend of human reporting and machine-generated content,” says Dr Sam Han, director of data science at The Washington Post.

This collaboration has the potential to create content of higher quality than before, by allowing journalists to focus on producing high-value work without using time to search for insights.

3. Drones in journalism

Drone journalism, in a nutshell, is the use of a drone – a remote-controlled aircraft device – for journalistic purposes.

The rise of using drones in reporting means the increase of perspective – quite literally. Drones with in-built cameras enable journalists to capture stories from a multitude of new angles.

“Being able to see the world from the air has not always been easy to do. In the past, you needed helicopters, you needed airplanes or a really, really, really long stick with a camera at the end,” says journalism technologist Ben Kreimer.

Drones are a great catalyst for capturing stories in a way that traditional field reporting could not. Flying in spaces that were previously inaccessible means journalists are able to uncover secrets hidden in the land.

4. Paid content

In an attempt to safeguard the quality of reporting online newspapers, media companies and journalists alike are finding ways to charge for online content. Even though information is – mostly – freely available on the Internet, it’s not hard to believe that people will pay for quality journalism.

"One of the worries for the industry in general is kind of a cultural expectation that news information should be free. We would challenge that because we believe quality journalism requires investment and investment requires revenues," says, the Financial Times chief executive, John Ridding.

And while there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this strategy, Ridding makes it clear that you get what you pay for. If media owners want paid for content to succeed, they will need to work out exactly what sets their publications apart and how much their publication’s work is worth.

5. Virtual reality and immersive journalism

Immersive journalism is the combination of audio and visual technology – in the form of virtual reality (VR) – in a fully engrossing experience. It’s a powerful way to capture the attention of an audience so that they don’t just think about events, but rather, are involved in them.

VR has crossed the threshold from ‘toy’ to ‘tool’. And with the technology going mainstream, it’s no surprise that it’s being used to take reporting from storytelling to story-living.

Since the birth of immersive journalism in 2012, it has grown into a billion Dollar industry. And, as the technology improves, it’s clear that it has the potential to completely reinvent the way that people interact with the news.

VR gives audiences the ability to take the journalist out of the picture and witness scenes for themselves. This brings them right up to scenes of breaking news, from the comfort of their everyday reality.

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Advances in technology are threatening the authenticity of the media industry. Learn more in our article, Are deepfakes the new #FakeNews?
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy