We don’t run out of television screens and planes, we run out of food”. Does the profession need anymore journalists? What is this new art of interviewing and how African philosophers and storytellers could change the face of journalism. Just some of the stories in the last year that shaped the 12 months ahead.
In April, my funny, mischievous, and sometimes acerbic mum passed away. I miss her. My eulogy was a direct influence from what I had learned more than thirty year ago when she brought me my first camera. In Ghana I produced a story about the country’s untapped potential.
Bright shiny things in tech continued to sleight of hand journalists. Perhaps in a couple of years time, we’ll cease to be amazed by a phone that can film. The revolution in tech requires attention, but the cognitive skill of creative storytelling is still wanting.
In Edinburgh at the Beyond Conference, creative storytelling was very much on display. What if Netflix produced news I asked, because politicians continue to run rings around journalists. Disinformation, shit posting, any number of biases, 2019 was the trailer for 2020. It gets much worse, but it will change. A long read of history shows how over lengthy periods a new equilibrium is established. It’s been happening for years.
This was the year when the net looked to thirty years. In 1995 I presented a report on the arrival of this thing that would change our lives. DuVernay’s film When They See Us changed lives too. I felt compelled to write an open letter. Of course my chances of meeting the extraordinary director is slim. But maybe, just maybe.
This year Medium nominated for another year my work under the banner top writer in journalism. There’s a chance! Chancing it too at a London tube station was a young besuited undergrad standing with a placard looking for work. He was truly bold and it paid off with him featuring on Sky News and receiving offers. Diversity isn’t an add on. Some of the best stories you may have come across, are a direct result of our diversity. There just isn’t enough.
This year starts in earnest. What will AI do and how we need to collaborate to solve problems and develop a new “design-thinking” mind set. In the new year we forge an important partnership with one of the UK’s respected tech hubs featured in Wired magazine. And in a couple of days, as part of one of the UK’s leading journalism school, Cardiff Jomec, we release our predictions of 2020.
The clues lie in 2019 but in 2020 who knows for sure. Thanks for your company and look forward to sharing some more with you.
Dr David Dunkley Gyimah is journalist, technologist, designer, lecturer and cinema journalist. He’s an advisor for the British Libraries 2012 News Exhibition and a Co-investigator for Creative Clwstwr Cardiff. More here