Sunday, March 04, 2007

Innovation Journalism, covering the future of society?

Researchers Erkki Kauhanen and Elina Noppari at the University of Tampere have published a survey on innovation journalism in Finland.

The report shows that articles covering innovation in Finland is mostly about IT or cell phones (the Nokia effect?). And that most stories are about local issues. Few discusses what influence a particular innovation has on the future.

No surprises, really. Most of that type of articles are write-ups of a new product or a new service. And the majority of all journalism have a local perspective. But it could be nice to have a bit broader perspective sometime.

However Erkki Kauhanen and Elina Noppari proposes a wider definition of innovation journalism than the original one: covering the innovation ecosystem (which they call "Nordforsian InJo”). They argue that covering innovations should be covering the future of society.

Well, I don’t know. It’s a very academic view. I don’t think you can build any profitable media business on that definition. It’s doomed to be placed in the Weird News section or whatever.

What kind of news are the readers interested in? Mostly it is information to take better decisions. It could be anything from choosing the next movie, to whether they should approve a big corporate buyout.

It is exciting to read all these science/technology future magazines, but if the articles only have the future perspective, you exclude information on how innovations affects us now, how important they are now, and what kind of decisions you should make now. That feels much more relevant for the future of society, than foresight.


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