Journalism is not a given in people’s lives. Here’s how to reimagine the future of news

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Ros Atkins | Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

This is an edited version of Ros Atkins’ speech to the Society of Editors on May 11, 2022.

I note that my speech is called The Future of News – and I have about 15 minutes to tell you what it is about. I think at this point I should manage expectations. I did not understand everything. I really don’t know what the future is. But I’ve spent enough time trying to figure out where we’re headed to have rules of thumb – guidelines that I hope will at least give me a chance to understand how my journalism needs to evolve and how organizations can evolve to give new types of journalism the best chance.

This work of innovation and modernization can sometimes give the impression of being a plus. The form our journalism takes, the way we structure our staff, the way we structure our day-to-day production, product development – ​​it may seem secondary to stories. And I understand that: we all became journalists because of a desire to be accountable, to discover stories – to tell stories. None of this went anywhere. But for me, the moment we arrived raises fundamental questions about the place of journalism in our world.

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