Image borrowed from:http://thetattytruth.wordpress.com/
Life in the news delivery world five years down the road will be: a narrative told by a genius, full of the sound and fury, signifying everything (to everybody). Or, a Hell of a lot of data/information from which a viewer can write their own narrative.
Like the previous decade, technology will continue to lead the way, opening doors-although not battering them down-- for innovative, cost effective ways to engage the citizenry and allow them to return engage .
Internet usage by average citizens worldwide will now be as ubiquitous and routine as running water.
Apple computer will dominate the (just now emerging) lightweight portable tablet market as they did with iPods and the iPhone, so consumers will have the best aspects of smart phones, MP3 player, netbook, video camera and e-reader all packaged in a sleek, sexy, easy to use gadget, with almost unlimited battery life.
Google will continue to dominate as an internet search engine and their Wave software allowing for live web streaming of information and real time interactions between providers and consumers of news and entertainment will be standard protocol.
Comcast will continue to dominate as an Internet /Broadcast service provider, but with government regulation will not become some rogue corporate superpower capable of taking over the world. High-speed wireless Internet will blanket the globe.
Newspapers will have survived, but most certainly not thrived. The gatekeeper role of the Fourth Estate is almost completely extinct. Big players-Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times-will still be cranking out print editions, but more and more of their readers will be viewing them on their portable tablets via the Internet.
The war between Google/Yahoo/search engines and newspapers will have ended with a strategic alliance allowing readers worldwide a "fair use" of a newspaper's website, thus continuing to drive traffic to them--but readers wishing more than casual perusal will pay a reasonable amount for the content.
The clash between Citizen Journalists/Bloggers and Professional Journalist will FINALLY be over, as more and more of the crotchety, ink-in -their -veins editors/publishers die off a la Thomas Kuhn's 'Structure of Scientific Revolutions' prediction.
Professional journalists will be far fewer but they will be cream of the crop, and legions of Citizen Journalists will fill in the gaps-especially with local news. Those Citizen Journalists will have rudimentary training and certification from a private non-profit (Knight Foundation?) giving them increased credibility with readers.
Almost every town or city boroughs with a population over 10,000 will have a local portal to provide news, weather, entertainment, and reams of data all packaged on an interactive platform based on Google Wave.
The word "breaking" in breaking news will take on new meaning as almost any event anywhere in the world will occur within eyeshot of somebody with a device to capture and transmit the event to a worldwide audience as it happens with "universal translator" software instantly translating words and text into their native language.
In other words: it will all be good.