Some news around journalism - the draw of long-form, the complexity of graphic, the melding of content and (ingredient) delivery. Gaming culture popping up in museums and bars. The implications of transgender rights on corporate influence and college admissions.
You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our future work.
And let us know what you're reading this week to help think about later.
Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines
The White House has proposed a new artificial intelligence “interagency working group” that will “learn more about the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence,” holding a series of workshops to explore artificial intelligence safety and the effects of AI on the jobs market (Motherboard “The White House considers artificial intelligence an important policy issue”).
Books, Publishing, and Media
MediaShift is running a special Libraries + Media series, exploring how libraries play a role in news production and dissemination. Among the interesting pieces, a look at how libraries can play an important selecting topics of local importance, compiling resource guides that keep up with evolving issues, and inviting public discussion and debate (MediaShift “How libraries are curating current events, becoming community debate hubs”).
Video broadcasting app Periscope is testing a new feature that will allow users to save video indefinitely instead of the standard 24 hours (Mashable “Your Periscope broadcasts can now live on forever”).
The New York Times’ "Inside Death Row," is a five-part graphic journalism series published in unique print, mobile, and desktop versions (Poynter “A graphics journalism project from The New York Times is taking readers inside death row”).
Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation have released a study examining the differences in time spent reading long- versus short-form news and finding that, even in a mobile-centric world, readers spend more time on average with long-form news and that long-form articles are accessed at nearly the same rate as short-form (Pew Research Center “Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World”).
Not exactly sure where to put this one, but it’s The New York Times, so it will go here. The New York Times will partner with Chef'd on a meal delivery service to provide ingredients from recipes pulled from the NYT Cooking site and app (Consumerist “New York Times Will Now Deliver Ingredients For Its Recipes To Your Doorstep”). See also CNET, Mashable, and The Verge.
Hulu will begin offering subscribers the ability to stream "live programming from broadcast and cable brands" in 2017, adding to its mix of previously broadcast and original programming (The Verge “Hulu confirms plan to stream live TV next year”). See also CNET, The Daily Dot, Engadget.
According to Pew Research Center, 11% of Americans are active in “literary, discussion or study groups such as book clubs” and women are more than twice as likely to take part in such activities as men, but a growing number of groups – the Man Book Club in Marin, the International Ultra Manly Book Club in Kansas City, or the NYC Gay Guys’ Book Club – are creating spaces for men to discuss literature (The New York Times “Men have book clubs, too”). A nice response from Wired (“Finally, Men Have a Safe Space to Discuss Books By and About Men”) wonders if men really need these spaces in a literary world that has privileged men for years. See also Fast Company.
Following the model of Facebook’s Instant Articles, LinkedIn is exploring it own feature that would allow publishers to host content directly on LinkedIn instead of linking back to a publisher’s site (Buzzfeed “LinkedIn Exploring Its Own Version Of Facebook’s Instant Articles”).
Motivated by interests in protecting employees, creating workplaces attractive to younger people, and eliminating policy complexity across states, corporate leaders are coordinating efforts to exert their influence as a growing number of states introduce bills that would limit or prohibit protection against discrimination for LGBT individuals (Bloomberg “LGBT Inc.: Corporations stand up to state governments in defense of civil rights”).
Nonfamily households increased from 1.7% of the population to 6.1% from 1970 to 2012, making roommates a more common living situation, although there is still a stigma for older men living with male roommates (The New York Times “Age 31 and up, with roommates. You got a problem with that?”).
Two standardized application forms – the Universal College Application and the Common Application – will change the way they ask applicants about gender, allowing individuals to report a “legal sex” or “sex assigned at birth” and an open text field to indicate gender identity (Take Part “America’s most popular college application is now trans-friendly”).
The U.S. Department of Justice’s response to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 argues that the law violates Title IX protections against gender discrimination in education (as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act regarding workplace discrimination), drawing this and similar laws into consideration for states’ access to federal funding for education (Education Dive “Transgender bathroom laws stir up national education community”).
Malia Obama will take a year off after graduating from high school before attending Harvard University, reflecting a growing “gap year” trend among students, providing delayed entry for students (who can afford it) to recharge after the stress of high school and build upon life or work experiences with a structured program of volunteer work, part-time employment, or travel and internships in foreign countries (The Associated Press “Things to know: the benefits of students taking a gap year”).
Facebook, Google, and other internet and tech leaders will proceed with their plans to cover the Republican National Convention, citing their role as neutral partners and providers of information in the political debate even as protestors and critics of Donald Trump place pressure on companies involved in this years’ convention (The Verge “Facebook to move forward with GOP convention plans despite Trump protests”).
Social networks may pose a growing challenge for verifiable information – lacking editorial oversight, providing easy distribution of what is popular regardless of what is accurate, allowing months-old news to resurface as new and current, limiting opportunities to deliver corrections to users that have consumed inaccurate stories, and encouraging feeds and networks that confirm existing beliefs (Poynter “Can fact-checkers break into Facebook’s echo chambers?”).
Facebook is piloting a new Groups Discover tool to make it easier for users to find new Groups (closed or private groups can opt into the search tool) to join based on a users interests, browsing groups by category, geography, or by friends’ participation (Fast Company “Facebook launches new discovery tool for groups”).
After the defeat of Proposition 1, which would have replaced a city ordinance requiring transportation network companies (Lyft, Uber) to conduct fingerprint-based background checks on drivers, both Uber and Lyft have closed offices and halted operations in Austin (The Daily Dot “Uber and Lyft to halt operations in Austin following Prop. 1 defeat”). See also CNET, Engadget, Mashable, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
A look at the coloring phenomenon as therapeutic without being therapy, meditative without being meditation, creative without being creation, artsy without being art – and part of a mindfulness industrial complex developed in response to our perceived hyper-connectedness and rising stress (Quartz “America’s obsession with adult coloring is a cry for help”).
Spaces, Retail, and Restaurants
A growing numbers of museums are integrating interactive, game-based elements like augmented reality, tabletop games, or digital displays to immerse visitors in exhibitions (Motherboard “How games are changing the museum experience”).
Arcade- and e-sports-themed bars (Ground Kontrol in Portland, Barcade in Brooklyn, 1Up in Denver, Two Bits in New York, Emporium and Headquarters Beercade in Chicago, Coin-Op Game Room in San Diego, 16-Bit Bar+Arcade in Columbus, Brewcade in San Francisco, and Cobra in Phoenix) are growing in popularity, creating a social gathering space for a unique demographic and culture and advancing communities’ arts and culture scenes by working with local artists, designers, and food and beverage producers (Engadget “Building community through arcades and beer”).
In a statement to members of the Congressional Black Caucus and responding to news of disparities in access to free same-day delivery for neighborhoods with predominantly minority residents, Amazon announced plans to eliminate gaps in its free same-day delivery service in all 27 cities where it is offered and pledged to not launch the service in any new regions without securing carriers for every zip code in the area (Bloomberg “Amazon to fill all racial gaps in same-day delivery service”). See also CNET, Consumerist, Engadget, and The Verge
NextVR will partner with concert producer Live Nation to "broadcast hundreds of live, cutting-edge performances in virtual reality to music fans worldwide" available via Samsung's Gear VR Oculus Home app, and expanding to other platforms (The Verge “NextVR teams up with Live Nation to broadcast concerts in virtual reality”). See also CNET, Gizmodo, and Re/Code.