Isaac Warren: Another Take on Journalism’s Future

Lukas Myers

Lukas Myers

Isaac Warren, Former Lamp Editor

Living in the digital age is an utterly unique experience. Access to information is available at an unprecedented scale. The internet alone is comprised of over a trillion gigabytes of information, with access to any sector of it available at the swipe of a finger on a touchscreen.

Since the average American has instantaneous access to a plethora of information, what does this spell for the future of journalism? I believe the act of preparing information for consumption will never disappear; however, the methods used to accomplish this will be ever-changing, as well as who is doing the content creation.

In this day in age, I have noticed the average person is just as capable of publishing a one-hour longform video essay just as easily as CNN or Discovery can, and will consistently garner more views than traditional news media. Video essays, even about incredibly niche topics, have a hungry audience waiting for more content. Gone are the days when the best documentaries were on cable TV, we live in an era where anyone can do their own research, create their own content, and freely publish it online and even earn money for their work. Network executives are no longer calling the shots as to what they think the average person wants to see. Consumers are selectively choosing content they wish to experience, rather than having to choose from a narrow selection of highly curated opinions and sound bites.

Media companies have attempted to enter this space, with some notable failures. CNN+, a streaming platform created by CNN, is struggling to maintain 10,000 daily users, and facing budget cuts, despite only being launched for less than a month. Meanwhile, Philip DeFranco, an online news commentator, regularly sees over 100,000 views on each of his videos.

How can this be? I believe news conglomerates like CNN are seen as a faceless entity with speaking heads with almost celebrity status. While celebrities can be perceived as living in another world, a content creator making two-hour video essays about a video game will likely be more favored, simply because they’re independent, creating content for the sake of creating content, and are more often perceived as humble and not totally in it for the money.

Journalism has a future in the digital age, however it will be run and maintained by a loose network of creators working independently, not a media oligopoly struggling to maintain an audience.