News media trends come and go but the core mission of truth telling and serving as a watchdog on the powerful in government and elsewhere continue. Of course, it’s easy to lose sight of such noble goals amid the growing number of desperate media trends, which have come to resemble not so much innovation as the spastic flailings of a drowning baboon.
Case in point: future news.
The obvious challenges and pitfalls of reporting events that have not yet occurred led Coma News to sit down with our own expert in the craft, Thomas Steven John, to discuss the promise and perils of his future news beat.
Coma News: We’re glad you agreed to do this.
Thomas Steven John: I was kind of surprised you wanted to do this.
CN: Why? Didn’t you see this coming?
TSJ: No I didn’t. And I was surprised to be invited to Q&A about mind-numbing media trends and one of the most obnoxious recent trends is reporters interviewing reporters.
CN: I don’t understand your point. How about you tell us how you started reporting the future? Was it a concentration offered in your journalism graduate school?
TSJ: Reporting on the future basically came from these dreams I have. It started out pretty simple, like dreaming about some event coming up that I was really worried or excited about. But then I started dreaming about people I had never met and then I found out they were not only real but doing the things I had dreamed about earlier.
CN: Sounds exciting.
TSJ: Not really, It also involves a high fever, diarrhea and vomiting.
CN: But the future part seems pretty manageable. You just report on what you see, right?
TSJ: No, I dream about all kinds of future events that are not newsworthy, like what kind of ice cream cone some kid is going to pick out at the store this weekend.
CN: So you have to be careful about what you report?
TSJ: Right. Like I can’t just report that some politician or sports team I dislike is going to lose or that a natural disaster is coming–just to terrify people into reading the story. I also don’t see things that would benefit me personally, like winning lottery numbers or whether I am going to get paid this week.
CN: So, do you see yourself as the last of a dying breed?
TSJ: Just the opposite. Future news reporting–mostly imagined–appears to be where all journalism is moving.
CN: Thanks, and happy tomorrows.
TSJ: We’ll see.