A screen-less and mobile world, says the BBC

BBC doesn’t just report the news anymore, it predicts it.

The world’s oldest national broadcasting company released a timeline titled, “Future of News: Timeline of the connected generation.”

Here’s the two most interesting predictions:

Mobile newsrooms

First up, BBC predicts news organizations will begin operating without a central newsroom in 2016. Instead, reporters will be able to create a full publication — “from news gathering to publishing — using advanced mobile technologies in 2016.

I find that hard to fathom, given my own newsroom’s reliance on desktops and servers and networks to successfully get a paper to the printer. However, for digital-only publications this seems entirely possible.

BBC’s prediction is reinforced by a recent New York Times piece that details Mike Bloomberg’s efforts to shakeup the newsroom side of his company. In the piece, reporter Ravi Somaiya gives readers this juicy detail:

(Bloomberg) has an iPhone 6 Plus, but largely uses its Bloomberg app, for everything including email. 

The Bloomberg application has the functionality a reporter would need to report, write and publish stories to the terminal. There is virtually no need for a central newsroom — but I have a feeling Bloomberg would never abandon its HQ for fear it would destroy the newsroom’s strong voice.

In-person editing is a valuable tool that typically produces fairer, more accurate stories. Newsroom collaboration leads to better projects, more in-depth investigations and interesting packages. No amount of technology can replace the benefits in-person editing and collaboration provide.

So in a way, BBC is correct. There will be news organizations who can abandon their central newsroom. I’m just not so sure that they will.

An invisible operating system

By 2025, BBC predicts people will be agnostic about screens and devices. Instead, we will all interact with invisible operating systems that allow “us to deploy virtual screens everywhere.”

This would yield Apple’s many products useless, forcing the technology giant to figure out a way to better monetize its operating systems — while making them easier to work with other company’s systems.

(Editor’s note: I fully acknowledge the fact that I may laugh at myself ten years down the road because Apple, Google and Microsoft have morphed into some crazy technology company that we rely on for our every action.)

I guess this comes as no surprise to me. Everyday there is new news about Oculus Rift technology and the progress Facebook is making to bring it market. But it’s just sad. Bars are already getting a little boring with everyone staring at their phones all the time. I would hate to be face-to-face with someone with no real way to connect with them without logging in. I can easily picture the world screen-less, but I hope we make conscious decisions to stay connected to one another in meaningful ways.


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