In the course of the next few years, things students learn in their second year of university will be outdated by the time they graduate, Dr. Anthony Fellow, chair and professor of communications at Cal State Fullerton, warned during his lecture at Pacifica Instute.
“It is very difficult for a professor today to be able to tell students what jobs are available because things are changing so fast,” Fellow said, “In the short time our media is going to look nothing like it is today.”
In his talk at the Pacifica institute titled “The Future of Media” Dr. Fellow discussed the ways in which technology has affected media in the past, present and the ways in which it will be affected it in the coming years.
An expert on American Media History and Politics, he started the talk off with a brief history of American mass media, starting with the colonial times. He discussed the culture of colonial coffee houses that were a hub for political discussion and compared them to the modern “coffee houses” that exist online on social networking sites.
After briefly touching upon the introduction of the penny press of 1833, he moved on to talk about the advent of radio and TV, both of which marked the new era of electronic broadcasting and significantly changed how political campaigns were conducted.
With the introduction of the computer and internet, he said, the media landscape was once again reformed.
• A positive impact of technology is that people are calling for increased government transparency through the use of social media much like what took place during the Arab Spring.
• Negative impact of technology is evident in the increase in bloggers whose facts are difficult to verify.
• The things students learn in their second year of university will be outdated by the time they graduate.
• Students are being trained for jobs that do not yet exist.
Dr. Fellow added that the future of Media according to a recent study done by the Annenberg school of USC suggests that in the next five years only four print newspapers will survive.
Other changes anticipated by the study:
• Blogs will be the first place that news breaks.
• Wikipedia is going to become the newspaper of record.
• Cable news will become the entertainment medium. The Daily Show with John Stewart will become the most important cable show.
• Fox News will continue to carry the banner for the right.
• Local TV news will be replaced by public access television delivered over the web.
In light of these changes that are anticipated, Dr. Fellow said it is very likely “Newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur and the press as we know it will vanish.”