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The Future of Media

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Jason Karaian, global finance and economics editor at Quartz, joined us on Monday for a discussion on the future of media in a world where information is increasingly condensed into bite-sized bits meant for consumption on smartphones and social media.

Quartz is a media company owned by the American news magazine, The Atlantic. Since its founding in 2012, Quartz has innovated the creation and presentation of journalism through its use of technology and social media. 

A focus of Jason’s talk was presenting the ways in which Quartz has pioneered news media for the 21st century, explaining the reasoning behind their strategy and its results. Using examples, such as a Quartz reporter’s use of a Twitter bot to monitor the WannaCry hackers’ Bitcoin wallets, Jason showed how Quartz was simply taking advantage of opportunities afforded to journalism by technology, to which other outlets have been slow to adapt.

One of Quartz’s most radical initiatives was publishing entire stories as push notifications on smartphones, allowing readers to instantly receive as much information as possible without further navigation. As Jason said, Quartz attempts to cover and publish material “at the intersection of what’s important and what’s interesting.”

A detailed and informative discussion followed Jason’s enlightening presentation. Guests asked questions ranging in topic from the ethical responsibilities of news outlets to Quartz’s business model.

One guest identified a key issue with new media companies: the perceived difficulty of self-reflection and adaptation to readers’ criticisms without traditional methods, such as letters to the editor.

Acknowledging this potential deficiency, Jason identified social media and responses to email newsletters as potentially superior methods of receiving and reviewing reader comments. Not only does this switch foster easier categorization of communications, but it allows criticism to be read and incorporated in real time.