A question often discussed by journalists is, “What is the future of media?” Though I really can’t answer that question, I recently discovered two media entities that I think could be a glimpse of what’s to come.
First, TheSkimm. If you aren’t subscribed to it yet, you should get on that. TheSkimm is a Monday-thru-Friday daily email newsletter that covers the most important happenings from the previous day. According to its mission statement, they hope to “do the reading for you” — across subject lines and party lines — and break it down with fresh editorial content.
TheSkimm gives you enough detail to be aware of what’s going on, but in a way that makes you want to go read more on the subject. So while the newsletter might only take a few minutes to read, I find myself looking up stories that interest me from a more traditional news source afterwards.
I think the reason TheSkimm is so successful is because they truly stick to their mission statement. They report news without showing any personal biases, and it’s entertaining enough that people want to keep reading.
Next: Serial. Serial, the first spinoff series of the popular NPR show, This American Life, shows that you don’t need time constraints to tell a story. Like Netflix’s House of Cards, episodes of Serial are only as long as the story needs to be.
Serial is a season-long look at one story. For their first season, which premiered earlier this month, producer Sarah Koenig reported on the murder of a high school senior and her ex-boyfriend who was convicted of the crime. Sure, it sounds like a pretty cut-and-dry case, but the man was convicted purely on someone else’s testimony — there was never any physical evidence to convict him.
Another aspect I really like about Serial is that even though it premiered a few weeks ago (the story is released as a podcast every Thursday,) Koenig is still investigating the crime, so it is fun to try to guess where the story will go. It feels like a fictional story, but we’re watching it unfold in real time.
I think these two outlets, while both very different from other another, give a good example of what media could look like in the coming years. Like our professors say, journalism isn’t dying; it’s just evolving. And if these forms of media are what’s next, I’m pretty excited for the future.
Meg Omecene is a junior studying strategic communication and the public relations director for The Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.