A history of the future of news: What 1767 tells us about 2100

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Eric Newton at the University of Arizona

Eric Newton at the University of Arizona

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  • Cell phone, Star Trek, 1964

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  • 1. A history of the future of newsWhat 1767 Tells Us About 2100 Eric Newton -- Nov. 14, 2011, Arizona State University, Eric Newton, Senior Adviser to the President, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • 2. Evolution of human communication, new categoriesAge Human capacity Date (c.) Concept of timeVisual Curiosity 1-2m BC NaturalLanguage Orality 100,000 BC CyclicalMass Media Literacy 1450 AD LinearDigital Fluency 1991 AD Multi Sources: Various
  • 3. Global to billionsCommunication’sExponential Rise MESSAGE REACH Nearby to a crowd Visual Language Mass Media HISTORIC AGE Digital
  • 4. We predict the future based on what we know Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, Dec. 31, 1899, looking a century ahead
  • 5. Multi-TimeMulti-Time combines Natural, Cyclical,Linear, Exponential and Multi- Dimensional Time -- graphic by William Newton
  • 6. Science fiction writers go with their imaginations Moon travel Jules Verne, From theEarth to the Moon, 1865
  • 7. Geostationary satellites,Arthur C. Clarke, Wireless World, Oct. 1945Geostationary satellite, Arthur C. Clarke,Wireless World, Oct. 1945
  • 8. Skype, The Jetsons, 1962
  • 9. Cell phone, Star Trek, 1964
  • 10. Flat Screens – Jetsons (1962) I-pad, 2001, a Space Odyssey, 1968
  • 11. Each American generation comes of age as a different news medium is rising Generation Birth Rising media Cycle Compromise 1767- Pamphlets American 1791 RevolutionTranscendental 1792- Partisan weekly 1821 newspapers (Agricultural era help from U.S. mail, postal roads) Transcendental Populist daily Awakening Gilded 1822- newspapers 1842 The Associated Press Progressive 1843- (the telegraph) Civil War looms 1859 Generations and cycles from “The Fourth Turning”; media trends from the Newseum, web research
  • 12. More cycles in time: Awakenings and crises every 80 yearsGeneration Birth Rising media CycleMissionary 1860- Illustrated magazines, Civil War 1882 niche publications Lost 1883- Major metropolitan 1900 daily newspapers (Industrial era inventions: Third Great Light bulb, telephone, Awakening linotype, film, etc.) G.I. 1901- Photography in print, 1924 tabloids Silent 1925- Radio newscasts, Depression, 1942 movies and newsreels World War Two Generations and cycles from “The Fourth Turning”; media trends from the Newseum News History Content Book; web research
  • 13. The cycles persist even as information explodesGeneration Birth Rising media Cycle Boom 1943- Glossy color magazines 1960 (TV, color TV, home telephones) Gen X 1961- TV newscasts The 1960s 1981 (Satellites, cable, video tape) awakeningMillennial 1982- World Wide Web 2000 (Digital era inventions: personal computers, the Internet, domestic email, chat, video games, multimedia) Cyber 2001- Mobile and Social Media 2026 (Cell phones, search, blogs, citizen media, 9-11, social media, blogosphere, smart phones, recession, tablets, global World Wide Web, universal e- commerce, remote sensing, wearable media WWar 3.0 …) Generations and cycles from “The Fourth Turning”; media trends from the Newseum , web research
  • 14. ‘Personal, portable, participatory’ ads, 2002, Minority ReportWearable media,Dick Tracy, two-waywrist radio,Jan. 13, 1946;upgraded to two-way TV in 1964
  • 15. Remember Multi-Time!Like a cyclone, turning butmoving ahead
  • 16. If patterns hold, our Multi-time future will feature accelerating new media forms, awakenings and crisesGeneration Birth Rising media CycleVisionary 2027-2047 Intelligent Media (The cloud, smart grids, robotics, artificial intelligence) Mash-up of linear time and cyclical time; generational archetypes from “The Fourth Turning,” tech from “The Singularity is Near,” web research
  • 17. Robotics, bionics, artificial intelligence,The Terminator, 1984; Star Trek, The Next Generation, various
  • 18. Accelerating media, awakenings and crisesGeneration Birth Rising media CycleVisionary 2027- Intelligent Media 2047 (The cloud, smart grids, robotics, artificial intelligence) Hybrid 2048- Bio Media Machine awakening: 2068 (Augmented reality; The Singularity nanotechnology; media implants; enhanced human capacity) Mash-up of linear time and cyclical time; generational archetypes from “The Fourth Turning,” tech from“The Singularity is Near,” web research
  • 19. Machine awareness, iRobot, 2004
  • 20. Ray Kurzweil: Machines evolve beyond humans
  • 21. Science Fiction predicts life after the SingularityGeneration Birth Rising media CycleVisionary 2027- Intelligent Media 2047 (The cloud, smart grids, robotics, artificial intelligence) Hybrid 2048- Bio Media Machine awakening: 2068 (Augmented reality; The Singularity nanotechnology; media implants; enhanced human capacity)Courageo 2069- Hyper Media us 2089 (Cranial downloads; thought aggregators; sentient environment) Mash-up of linear time and cyclical time; generational archetypes from “The Fourth Turning,” tech from“The Singularity is Near,” web research
  • 22. Cranial downloads, The Matrix, 1999
  • 23. Sentient environment, Avatar, 2009
  • 24. A final crisis or another chance to emerge stronger?Generation Birth Rising media CycleVisionary 2027- Intelligent Media 2047 (The cloud, smart grids, robotics, artificial intelligence) Hybrid 2048- Bio Media Machine 2068 (Augmented reality; awakening: nanotechnology; media implants; The Singularity enhanced human capacity)Courageo 2069- Hyper Media us 2089 (Cranial downloads; thought aggregators; sentient environment)Enlighten 2090- Omni Media World War 4.0: ed 2110 (Thought projection; telepathy; Humans vs. telekinesis; teleportation) environment Mash-up of linear time and cyclical time; generational archetypes from “The Fourth Turning,” tech from “The Singularity is Near,” web research
  • 25. Thought projection, telekinesis, the Matrix, 1999
  • 26. World War 4.0, the Matrix, 1999
  • 27. ‘So what does all this have to do with me?’ YOUand your children … and their children … and theirs … will invent this future of news (or another) through your innovations and consumption
  • 28. Steve Jobs at Apple: iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad
  • 29. News pioneers often are young: We just don’t hear those stories
  • 30. What’s a journalism/mass com major to do?1. Learn truthful storytelling in all media 2. Master computer assisted reporting/design3. Watch a lot more science fiction! 4. Fool around with a new digital tool every day5. Rewrite the codes of ethics: New tools make new rules. 6. Follow new technology closely and create news adaptations7. Practice working in open, collaborative groups 8. Learn about media law (being rewritten for thedigital age) business models (ditto), new engagement techniques (ditto).9. Teach digital media fluency to everyone 10. Develop sources for covering World War 3.0, just in case
  • 31. Thank You!Eric Newton, Arizona State University November 2011