A new survey published by the Future Today Institute asked people who work within the news media ecosystem how they think about the future. In this first-of-its-kind global survey, participants were asked pointed questions about what strategies and tactics are being used to plan for the next 12 months – 20 years of journalism.
In this second annual global survey about how sta within news organizations think about their futures, we asked pointed questions about what strategies and tactics are being engaged. Little has changed since our last survey. Newsrooms have not built internal capacity for emerging trends research, strategic foresight, and long-term planning.
Last year’s key themes had to do with the impact of fake news and social media. One year later, respondents were generally concerned about the impact of the Trump Administration on a free press, however responses were less focused on Russia, hackers, and social media vulnerabilities. Instead, respondents commented repeatedly on automation and AI. Those working within the news ecosystem are gravely concerned about the viability of existing business models, ad networks, and job security in an age of arti cial intelligence.
Our 2018 analysis still shows a strong correlation between age and futures thinking. Sta who are at the beginning and end of their careers are more likely to think about the mid-future and farther-future (5 – 20+ years) of news. Meanwhile, staff between the ages of 44-64 are more likely to be “nowists”–– that is, they think about the immediate future (12 months ahead) and the near-future (1 – 5 years) more than other timeframes. We found this particularly troubling, because the nowists––those who are 44-64 years old––tend to be those managers who are making strategic and oper- ational decisions that directly a ect their companies as well as the future sustainability of news.c
Founded in 2006, the Future Today Institute helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures. FTI focuses exclusively on how emerging technology and science will disrupt business, transform the workforce and ignite social and geopolitical change. FTI’s forecasting methodology has been featured in the MIT Sloan Management Review and in the Harvard Business Review, and it is taught at universities around the world.