Digital Innovation
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Technology trends journalists should watch in 2017

The Future Today Institute (formerly Webbmedia Group) has published its annual Tech Trends report, outlining 159 technology trends to watch in 2017 and their potential impact for different industries, including journalism.

It features almost double the amount of trends compared to last year, with some technological advances making an appearance for the first time. In the report, trends are defined as ‘new manifestations of sustained change within an industry sector’ as opposed to one-off occurrences that prove more popular in a given year.

Amy Webb, founder of Future Today Institute, said artificial intelligence (AI) in its different forms is one of the trends publishers should be aware of over the next 12 months.

“This isn’t to say that every single journalist needs to become a coder overnight, but I do think it’s important that news organisations understand what AI can and cannot do.

“I see a fairly big disconnect right now, with some organisations thinking that AI will eliminate all the reporters and others thinking that it will somehow magically allow them to write millions of stories.”

Here are five other trends from the report that could have a significant impact on journalism and the media industry in the coming year.

Nutritional labels for news

As news organisations increasingly rely on algorithms and data for reporting, the report predicts readers will soon expect to know how exactly stories were built and what technologies and databases were used.

This information could be provided in a label format or by including a few sentences below each story.

“It’s better to be transparent and to explain, because what we’re really talking about here is the erosion of public trust.”

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