Emerging Media Platforms

Journalism Innovation Specialization Course

The way people access, interact with and publish digital information is in a period of constant flux driven by new technology platforms. The last 10 years have seen audience attention fragment from “the Internet,” as defined by a browser on a desktop, to a variety of relatively new devices, driving the need to learn how to identify and embrace new opportunities posed by emerging technologies that will impact the media of tomorrow.

This course prepares students to be media futurists, people who predict and project change in media through the lens of technology. Students will be exposed to emerging technologies and trends that promise to further evolve the paradigm for how people access, interact with and publish information in the future. Students also will learn how to spot emerging trends. In the process, students will be better prepared for a career in which they embrace and exploit new opportunities. Rather than constantly adapting to, or fighting, external changes outside of their influence, students will be on their way to becoming agents of creative disruption and change themselves.


Field test new and emerging technologies; identify and articulate new technologies, their benefits and problems; articulate future media products enabled by emerging technologies


Smartphone or tablet; one piece of approved emerging technology in the $50 to $500 range; current technologies that will be explored include virtual and augmented reality headsets, specifically the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and HoloLens; the free Unity3D gaming engine used to create VR and AR experiences; open source code for creating simple, interactive data visualizations; microdrones for aerial footage; Arduino microprocessors and sensors for acquiring real-world data; and depth cameras for scanning real-world environments


  • Identify the steady shift in usage patterns across platforms over time. Delineate the benefits and uses of each, and project their likely cycle of evolution over time.
  • Identify and explain new trends and opportunities posed by media technologies that are just now entering the consumer market, such as Internet-connected glasses, smart watches and other “fashion-tech” and VR headsets.
  • Articulate potential uses for media technology in journalism and storytelling, and spot and evaluate new trends.
  • Articulate the disruptions in the relationship between journalist and audience created by emerging technologies, and apply strategies for adapting to a future of continued disruption.
  • Appraise new products and services that solve real problems for audiences using these and other new technologies, as informed by real-world field tests that students design and implement.


Dan Pacheco