Turning inner space into outer space

January 9, 2012

Two ways that CES points to the future of journalism

The Consumer Electronics Show — better known as CES — is taking place this week in Las Vegas. If you’re a journalist who has any thoughts at all about the future of the craft, you should be paying attention to two major trends expected at the show.

One is a renewed effort at producing tablets that can compete with Apple’s iPad. The other is the continued push to get the Internet into people’s TVs, which are now being marketed as smart TVs. These are both important because they will make distribution of news via the web even easier than it is now.

Tablets are important not just because they are highly mobile, but because they don’t feel like computers. Many people are holding out against reading the news on websites because they don’t like dealing with computers. I have to say I don’t blame them — computers can be complex and finicky. A tablet, on the other hand, brings the same web experience in a device that is much easier to use. In many instances, the experience is also more immersive and satisfying.

If the Internet becomes widely accepted on TV, then websites and web apps will become ubiquitous and quite possibly the main source of news for the majority of people. That’s because there is no resistance whatsoever to TV. Virtually every household has one. The main weakness of TV is the lack of quality content. There is a lot of dumbed-down pap that caters to advertisers. But an à la carte system that eliminates or minimizes the need for ads — plus allows viewers to pay only for what they want — would increase both competition and quality. The Internet would of course play a big role in all this, making our efforts on the web all the more crucial.

Link: 2012 International CES