How WikiLeaks Foreshadows the Future of Newspapers (December 13th, 2010)

The most interesting thing about the recent WikiLeaks episode with stolen US diplomatic cables is not WikiLeaks itself, rather it is the integral role that newspaper partners have and are playing in this particular scenario. Yes, there are a ton of cables but most citizens do not have the interest, background or time to figure out the importance of a particular cable. This is where the news media came in with their experience and research, and have managed to highlight a selection of important and crucial information, while providing the necessary background to understand them.

IMHO, this foreshadows the role news media will play in the future. In the increasingly digital world where anyone can publish their words online, in paper form, as a podcast or a video for free, we will increasingly rely on both traditional and non-traditional gatekeepers to curate that mass amount of information and sort of narrow it down for us. This is what the old “traditional” gatekeepers are morphing into – news media, record companies, publishers and etc. At the same time we may see the grown of new industries. For example, how many people may be willing to pay or participate in a local book store’s club where a person who knows them personally will pick out a book specifically for them every month. That may be a new business, or something local book stores and librarians may adapt to.

In a world where we increasingly rely on machines to make choices for us such as search engine, a special service with a personal touch may be a new industry. Same goes for news papers, we may see the rise of “personal” newspapers where people who know us personally, will provide us with a selection of interesting articles, all while earning a living.

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