Think back to the first time you watched the news. Ever. Is it something like: your parents had it on, and you just wanted to change the channel to cartoons? Did it ever intrigue you why your parents would wake up early to watch news anchors and world issues at 6 or 7am, while drinking coffee and trying to get you ready for school?
I presume, if you’re reading this, you’re probably in the age range of 22–40 year olds, in which case your early memories of your parents occurred in the 80s and early 90s. At the time, newspapers, news anchors, and morning talk shows were how they learned what was going on in the world. There was no internet (not really for the news yet), let alone iPhones, smart watches, or holo-glasses. it was just plain, simple, turn the TV on and see what the world is up to. And that’s where I leave you with the simplest explanation I can find for why someone would wake up early and watch the news at the time.. see what the world is up to.
It’s 2015. We’ve had incredible growth in the global industries in the last 20 years. On the technology front, we went from no internet, to downloading music without wires, to the whole internet in your pocket, and soon on your wrist and face. In storytelling, we searched the world through Google, connected the world through Facebook, and shared moments with the world through Twitter. And it’s no surprise that all of this connecting has unified people in protests, celebrations, and unity marches. We are a global, connected society. We’re also a society made up of billions of individuals, each making impacts on the world. We’re connected, each with our own personalities, opinions, and stories to tell.
And that’s where the news comes in. The news used to connect us to the big events in the world, and the small events in our community. Today, there’s a huge shift in not just telling the news, but storytelling and journalism in general. It starts with us. Us is who the news is being told to, and about. News used to revolve around telling us stories on TV or newspapers because that’s where we were — reading, listening, watching. But we’re not watching nearly as much TV or reading newspapers like we used to be. We’re reading, watching, and listening on our iPhones, smart watches, laptops— basically, wherever we are. Traditional news is now presented to us in our Facebook and Twitter timelines, shown to us in Google doodles, and amazing news apps like Circa and Reeder. Our own personal news is what we see in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat stories.
Today, traditional news and personal news is merging. The lines between news of friends and news of communities are blurred. Links friends share on Facebook and Twitter are relevant to you. Your Instagram feed can consist of friends and storytellers (personal faves: NASA and HumansOfNY). Snapchat stories live right next to Snapchat Discover, where big news outlets like Vice, Yahoo! News, and NatGeo live. The news and stories of the world around us happens where we are. No more seeking it out. It’s there, where you are, connecting you, networking you to your world.
Today’s world is not about telling you the news. Today, it’s about asking us for the news. It’s consumer created, personalized for us, focused on us. It’s not about the medium that it appears to us on, or the format that it results in. It’s what our friends share, or what we subscribe to. It’s in the apps we download, the sites we frequent, the podcasts we consume. It lives where we are, where we choose to be.