Tomorrow’s News help us explore many timely questions and at least five different answers or policy possibilities for the future of our news and journalism. These questions include the following:
What do we mean by the “news media”? Does it—or should it—include newspapers, news or current event magazines, broadcast & cable news (TV, radio, internet), the blogosphere, mainstream media, infotainment, commentary? What are the boundaries to journalism? Are they changing, how, and for better or worse?
What role or roles does the news play in our society? Is it essential to an informed citizenry and the healthy function of any open society? Does it provide a necessary counterweight to concentrations and abuses of power—whether by the government or by the private sector? Does it—should it—expose or help us determine the truth?
Should the news be objective, and how? To be “fair and balanced”, should journalists just report “the controversy,” avoid or engage in “false equivalencies,” or seek to find or determine the truth?
What is, or should be, the relationship between journalism and government? And what are the intersections of the “freedom of the press,” our free speech rights, privacy, and national security?
What about the economics of the news? How should we pay for our news media? And how is technological and societal change affecting the news business?
This discussion guide invites you to explore these issues and some possible different policy responses to them.
The Five Policy Possibilities in this Discussion Guide:
A. Hard News Makes a Comeback
B. Infotainment & Niche News Prevail
C. News for Democracy: Of, By, and For the People
D. Non Profit News in the Public Interest
E. All E-News or Bust