Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

The question every journalist must ask…

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on March 25, 2010

All the great innovations of the past, from the factory produced car, to the Apple computer all began by asking a simple question.

And now, in the grip of the digital revolution and the great upheaval in journalism, it is a question journalists must ask themselves if they’re to create some of the much needed innovations which will determine the future of news.

At last week’s Digital Storytelling Conference in London we showed a short film to get people asking this very question. The results, in the Future of News Meetup shortly afterwards, were really interesting.

What if…?” is a tried and tested Lateral Thinking exercise used by innovators for decades. Asking “What If..?” does some really important things:

  • it gets you to highlight the conventions and assumptions which dominate the news industry
  • it gets you to wonder what would happen if one or more of those just weren’t true
  • it engages your imagination to come up with new ideas
  • it guarantees your ideas will be more original and leftfield

If more journalists asked “what if..?“, we’d see more and more new ideas for the future of journalism emerge.  It’s a question we’ll ask every month at the Future of News Meetups in London: if you’d like to join and take part click here to sign up.


6 Responses

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  1. Robin Rowland said, on March 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    In the speculative fiction/science fiction community there are actually two questions (and some scholars say all SF from Cyrano de Bergerac’s Voyage to the Moon to the latest Star Trek is based either of the two or the two combined)

    1 (of course) What if…….?
    2 If this goes on……?

    (Examples of 2… a) climate change b) if future of news meetings keep happening and grow somewhere, someone will find some answers.

    A little something to think about


  2. […] The question every journalist must ask… « Adam Westbrook RT @AdamWestbrook: On the blog! The question every journalist must start asking: #futureofnews (tags: futureofnews) […]

  3. FionaC said, on March 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Q1: What if?
    Q2: How much will it cost me?

  4. […] a few short days before Digital Storytelling ‘10, Multimedia Master Adam Westbrook called and suggested we make a trailer for his Future of News meetup hosted at the conference. By […]

  5. […] The one question journalists need to start asking […]

  6. Maguire said, on April 8, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Thank you for this! What If? applies in so many other areas as well. Having someone take a moment to represent this little question in a new light, really helps open new avenues of thinking and strategizing for the future.

    I would like to recommend an interview series of professional journalists and media specialists for you to check out, that covers an array of topics currently affecting the future of journalism.

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