This blog is based on a presentation from the Athens Global Forum for Media Development Conference, December 8 2008. Responses to the presentation were collected at the Conference and were posted below. Please add your comments as well.


Let me start with the Core Question:


If the Media Development field and community (however you define it) is to further grow and develop, what significant trends will it need to address and/or take advantage of?


Five “starter” answers from my perspective follow; these are drawn from the knowledge and ideas flowing through The CI process.


Trend 1:


The increasingly shrinking difference between a journalist who is on the staff of a recognised media organisation and a citizen reporting the events happening around them.


Who or what are we developing anyway?


Example: Citizen Journalism


Trend 2:


The rapidly changing relationship between the media and its public FROM the definitive and authoritative statement of the most important news and information TO a platform for debate, dialogue, and further public insights on the stories and information in question.


In that context, what new media development skills and aptitudes are required?


Example: Middleberg/SNCR Survey of Journalists Reveals Generational Gap


Trend 3:


Public news and information access trends move FROM: generated by a few trusted and reliable sources; produced as “brand specific” news which is most often local; and consumed in predictable patterns over long time periods – e.g., a TV news show or local newspaper – TO: generated by a broad range of varied sources interacted with throughout the day produced as brand independent news which is not necessarily locally located – e.g., news aggregation processes such as Google news and Daylife.


What are the priority media organisations and processes to whom we should relate?


Example: Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Support


Trend 4:


An increasingly complex (confusing?) relationship between the principle of a free, independent, and pluralistic media and the realities of: an explosion in media and information sources; the cross-boundary nature of many new media processes; a decline in public service principles; increasing diversity in media models; agenda-led news entities; etc.


In this context how do we now assess the concepts of free, independent and pluralistic?


Example: Tools and Performance Indicators


Trend 5:


Related to the theme of the Global Forum for Media Development Dec 2008 conference - Quality Information for All The Media – in our common understanding of media - are traditional media (i.e., television, radio, newspapers) decreasingly important “players” as digital technology processes – in particular: mobile; organisational web info proliferation combined with accurate, common searches; news scraping and aggregation; social networking; pull not push processes; etc. processes - begin to play much larger roles.


From a quality perspective how do we respond to that trend?


Example: Half of World's Population Has a Mobile


These are just a few thoughts on trends related to what the media development community will need to address and/or take advantage of in order to further grow and develop...what do you think?