Media Predictions for 2009
On All Over Albany this morning, editor Greg Dahlmann asked the AOA community for its input on what the biggest stories of 2008 were, and what the most important news stories of 2009 will be.
Never turning down an opportunity to make predictions, I threw a few suppositions into the ring.
The Obama presidency will be the top story of 2009. The sky won’t fill with unicorns and rainbows overnight. But Obama will bring a sobriety to Washington, and things will get done. However, I predict there will be at least one major row between Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress. The popularity of Obama as president will lead to a minor resurgence in volunteerism and political action.
The financial crisis will be the second big story of 2009. At most one of the American automakers will fail, but probably none of them. Nationally, employment will continue to rise but will level out around the third quarter. There will be one or two more bailouts but Obama will make the industr(y/ies) asking for them beg.
The third big story will be something entirely unpredictable, either a political scandal, horrific crime, or natural disaster.
Locally, crime and gangs in Albany will continue unchecked to the detriment of all. There will be another high-profile crime of some kind, possibly at Albany High School.
There will be some kind of organized battle against one or more Catholic church closings. Bishop Hubbard will do fewer public appearances because of the vitriol.
I think the troubles in the mainstream media will continue. (No-brainer there.) The shrinking subscriber base of newspapers and the increasing quality and accuracy of blogs will continue to change where people get their news.
Newspaper-affiliated blogs will earn column-inches in print editions in order to cut costs on reporters.
With the Obama administration in the White House, right-wing talk radio will be more rabid and cry foul about the “liberal” media. Liberals will choose inexpensive blogs over the high-barrier-to-entry television and radio, and will ramp up their content in return. The idea of an unbiased media, even if theoretically attainable, will be abandoned in 2009 (or thereafter) because most people won’t believe it to be possible. This will damage the mainstream media even further.
I predict that one or more high-profile “real journalists” will either resign or be fired from their regular assignment and take up blogging full time.
As you state, citizen journalism will begin to be realized on a large scale. This will include blogs, audio and video podcasts, and even Wikipedia. CNN’s iReport is a laughable attempt, but it’s not far from where we’re going.
Finally, digital-rights management (essentially, copy protection) for music will die or be mortally wounded in 2009. This is ironic, because 2009 is the same year that television will go digital, accommodating the “broadcast flag” to effectively subject television programs to DRM.
The RIAA will slow down their legal battles against file-sharers as they realize they’re fighting a losing battle.
My final prediction is that at least half of the above predictions will be false by the end of 2009.
I’m including them here for later review. Someone remind me to revisit this at the end of 2009.
Am I entirely off base here?