Implications for the Future:
The Telecommunications Act,
Intelligent Agents, and Journalism
Practice and Education
This section of the book speculates on the future of journalism and journalism education in the context of emerging technology. It suggests that the changes in journalism are only beginning and that regulatory changes and emerging artificial intelligence tools will exert subtle but profound influences on the nature of journalism in the twenty-first century. Leadership must come from both the industry and the academy if the fourth estate, journalism, is to continue to serve democracy effectively.
Chapter 10 provides a detailed discussion of the long-term consequences of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for the future of news, both in traditional and new media environments. Chapter 11 outlines the implications of intelligent agent technology for journalism in the twenty-first century. Chapter 12 examines the preparation of the next generation of journalists, and chapter 13 reviews the prospects for employment in online journalism. Finally, an afterword offers speculation on the evolving role of the journalist in an age of ubiquitous information provided by a wide-ranging set of news and content providers, many of whom may be seeking influence in the court of public opinion but may be largely indistinguishable to the public.