Summary of journalism and media development in 2022: These 8 trends will become important

Which trends will be relevant for journalism and media houses in 2022? Strategy consultant Konrad Weber has analysed over 20 trend reports and summarised them in 8 meta-trends. (Photo: Adrian Graf)

For this purpose, I analysed and compared around 20 annual outlooks and trend reports in the last weeks of the year to derive 8 “meta-trends”.

Trend 1: Hybrid culture — both/and becomes a constant companion.

Why is this becoming important?

In a world that is constantly becoming more complex, it is all the more necessary to endure supposed contradictions. Often, however, decisions (or at least the way to them) trigger something for which we are still far too little trained: mastering transitions. In concrete terms, this affects several fundamental areas in the media industry:

  • the journalistic offer: the transition from analogue to digital.
  • collaboration: the transition from traditional on-site collaboration to a hybrid new-work approach.
  • the structures and processes: the transition from a hierarchically organised company to an organisation guided by ownership, self-efficacy and clear roles.

Several trend reports address this transition phase and advise more ongoing transition instead of one-off transformation.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ Development Report 2021/2022 of the SZ Innovation Team
✍︎ Future Report 2022 of the zukunftsInstitut

Trend 2: Unbundling — the paywall is not the (only) solution

Why is this becoming important?

To be able to emancipate themselves from declining advertising revenues, most publishers expanded their paywalls last year. The hope for new sources of revenue quickly gave way to disillusionment: The willingness to pay for news offers has levelled off at a moderate 10% of the readership in Germany as well as in Switzerland.

As a result, media houses have to say goodbye to the full range of products and orient themselves towards a portfolio of specific (paid) special-interest offerings. This also includes developing special offers for very specific usage situations or emotional situations in the future — as social media platforms have been demonstrating for some time.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ Trends in the media industry by nextmedia Hamburg
✍︎ Think Forward by We Are Social
✍︎ Predictions for digital journalism by journalism.co.uk

Trend 3: Curation — less is more

Why is this becoming important?

Where do we invest time, attention and money? With the increasing abundance and unbundling of media content, this decision is becoming ever more difficult for users. Media companies are trying to make these decisions easier by investing more in quality and focusing on a few core offerings.

But the arbitrariness and interchangeability of many media offerings are still great. “Cover what you do best. Link to the rest”, US journalist Jeff Jarvis claimed as early as 2007, a statement that seems more relevant today than ever before.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ The future’s bright by PressGazette
✍︎ What major themes will we see in global media in 2022? by McKinsey & Company

Trend 4: Leadership — with empathy you get further

Why is this becoming important?

Journalism is (still) a dream job. Hundreds of applications for full-time positions are not uncommon. But the highly competitive market for talent is becoming more and more apparent. This is particularly evident in job openings with specific technical expertise and away from the big cities.

The pandemic months have turned the concept of “work” upside down for many people: Suddenly, the enormous possibilities of freedom, flexibility and financial independence became more important to many than a classic 9-to-5 job. This makes intangible incentives such as self-efficacy, flexibility and empathetic leadership all the more important in employee recruitment to attract and retain talent in the future.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ Predictions for digital journalism by journalism.co.uk
✍︎ Predictions for Journalism 2022 by NiemanLab
✍︎ 2022 Annual Trends Reports by Voices

Trend 5: Impact — Outcome was yesterday, now it’s all about the long-term impact

Why is this becoming important?

Journalism is the oxygen of every democracy. But what if the oxygen cannot unfold its effect? While in recent years “more and more” has been the credo — more output, more reach, more clicks — in the near future we need one thing above all: more long-term impact.

The development of regular habits strengthens the loyalty and, above all, the trust of users. This is the only way to achieve a real bond with impact in the long term. But doing so takes time. More than ever before, an investment in real community management is needed. And that goes further than just publishing a few funny social posts and reporting some user comments situationally.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ Predictions for Journalism 2022 by NiemanLab
✍︎ Loyalty Trends For 2022, And Imperatives Through 2030 by Currency Alliance

Trend 6: Diversity — more than just a gender asterisk

Why is this becoming important?

While last year the argument about the raison d’être of an asterisk in German orthography escalated all the more, in the new year we should put the focus back on the real concern behind the special character. And here the fact that male overrepresentation still prevails in media reporting, but also within media houses, prevails.

This not only leads to women being less visible in journalism. Rather, whole sections of society hardly receive a hearing or attention in media reporting. Since these underrepresented population groups are also not part of the media organisations, no personalisation — in the sense of conveying content through strong personalities — can take place either. 2022 offers the chance to prevent this double self-goal in the best possible way.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ 2031: A Future World — The Report by Dazed Media
✍︎ TMT 2022 Predictions by Deloitte
✍︎ Trends in the media industry by nextmedia Hamburg

Trend 7: Product development — the new backbone of journalism

Why is this becoming important?

If you want to offer journalism with visibility, impact and financial return, you urgently need know-how in product development. This is not new, but it still does not seem to be practised in many media houses.

These product experts should be able to combine strong communication and ethical skills with technological understanding. They know, how elements of digital products affect information dissemination and audience engagement. But where can such employees be found? And are journalism schools ready to pass on this knowledge to their students?

Sources on this trend

✍︎ Innovation in News Media World Report
✍︎ Predictions for Journalism 2022 by NiemanLab

Trend 8: Metaverse — still a hype in 2022

Why is this becoming important?

The bold dreams of the Silicon Valley pioneers are big: nothing less than the future of the internet is to be heralded with the metaverse. What is being made tasty to us as the virtual and open digital home of the future is first and foremost the great battle for future domination of the net.

It is about nothing less than the new digital standards that will be defined in the coming months. A lot of money is at stake for the big digital companies: Whoever is the pioneer in the metaverse will possibly be able to decide on entire value-added ecosystems in the future — starting with avatars, through events to their own sub-worlds. Accordingly, hardly any of the numerous trend reports omit this big hype.

Sources on this trend

✍︎ Three Steps to the Future by Ben Evans
✍︎ The 7 most overhyped trends of 2022 by FastCompany
✍︎ Media Trends and Predictions 2022 by Kantar
✍︎ Technology & Media Outlook 2022 by Activate Consulting and WSJ Tech
✍︎ Trend Report 2022 by Instagram

Overview of the Trend Reports for 2022

Questions? Further tips?

Which of these trends are you most concerned about? Do you see any other “meta-trends” that will become relevant in 2022? Feel free to let me know by using the comment function or by sending me a message on another channel. I am looking forward to it!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store