Why we need curated news

Why do we need, or want to consume news?

Consuming news leads to:

  • Learning and empowerment
  • Culture and society
  • Democracy and debate
  • Globalisation and awareness

And what does this actually mean?

Consumption of information, news, science, math, philosophy…anything, leads to learning about ourselves, understanding who we are and forms our personalities. This empowers us, and gives us confidence.

Being a part of a smaller culture or society leads to recognition, contribution and a sense of feeling at home. Feeling like a part of something greater. It’s not only the individual that strives for this to happen, it’s also beneficial for the larger group that forms this culture or society. The discussions goal is to create a common direction for the society to thrive.

Receiving access to others viewpoints and not having to be “locked in” your own culture, society or your own way of thinking or perceiving the world will lead to more discussion and debate about what’s right or wrong. It empowers the individual to express their view as a part of a democracy. Knowing about other views and perceptions changes our own thinking, and being able to take active part in the discussion changes it yet many times more.

Globalisation happens when we stop thinking only about ourselves and our own culture or society, and start connecting the dots. Understanding the events that lead to other events in another part of the world. When we start thinking bigger like this, we also get more innovative and try to improve or challenge what we see and experience. You become not only aware, but a game changer.

This is how I see news impacts us today, in general and simplified terms of course.

old-newspapers

What is news, and who is responsible for what news is?

Hundreds of years ago small societies got their weekly, or sometimes daily news at the church where debate and discussion regarding local events happened in real time and face to face.

Then came broadcasting media, newspapers and television was the broader sender of information, and the people around the world was the receivers. It was one-to-many communication and the receivers were not responding to the message that was sent.

Through the Internet, information could flow between broadcasting media and the people, making it a two-way communication. Although the media did not know what to do with all the feedback they suddenly received back from the audience.

Today information and news is flowing everywhere (Internet, Radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, apps, social) and the sender is anyone (blogger, vlogger, journalists, brands, etc). Every millisecond of our day is filled with information and the noise is challenging our minds and making it harder to take in, understand and come to a conclusion about what’s right or wrong, and challenges our well-being in terms of lacking confidence, focus, or peace.

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How can we close the gap between what people know, and what they should know about the world around them?

The world around them is bringing us back to the smaller society, the focus, the tangible debate and the answers.

Close the gap could be teaching, informing and guiding, also providing better focus, and minimising the noise.

  • We need personalised news. But not too personalised that leads to the filter bubble and putting democracy and learning at risk, and risk not being exposed to others perceptions.
  • We need trusted sources of information. We need educated journalists that learn to become critical, and scrutinizing, presenting the truth objectively.
  • We need to educate the audience and show the difference between a trusted source and a subjective source of information. Can anyone be a trusted source of information? How do we solve this? Brands, or blogs, independent journalists or collaboration? Everyone is contributing to the information, the news and the noise out there.
  • We need to listen. The broadcasting days are over, the information is not ours to give and not get any reactions or criticism in return. Creating debate is the foundation of a good and working democracy.
  • We need an editor. We are a species that like being in a group, recognised, accepted. That probably means that if we were to choose our own information and news, regardless the format, we would build the filter-bubble around us. We need an un-biased guide to help us close the gap, and give us the aha-experience, and open our minds to others ideas.
  • We need to be active every second. The print newsroom is originally planned on a 24-hour clock, if their product was a daily newspaper. Now, it’s a matter of seconds before something new news-worthy information happens in the world. Be it that someone near to you just became a grandmother, that a political scandal was just unrevealed or that the world is facing a new climate threat.
  • We need to be in-depth, too. Investigating, criticising, scrutinising, and challenging those in power and continuously learning and educating about the world.
  • We need to be adaptive. Adaptive to personalised needs, and how people of the world want to consume their news. In written, on mobile, or through video on your desktop? Once a day, or “on the pulse”? And adaptive to the technology choices we make to deliver on the promises of being fast, trusted, curated etc.
  • We need to understand our users. Using the data and understanding the behaviour of our users will make us deliver better products and deliver on our promises.

We have somewhat of a mission ahead of us and I’m happy and proud to be a part of this change.

This post is written in a fast manner without links to relevant sources. View it as my personal viewpoints.

My master thesis 2011: https://www.nada.kth.se/utbildning/grukth/exjobb/rapportlistor/2011/rapporter11/kvernplassen_anna_11014.pdf

 

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