Harry Potter shows the future of newspapers.

Many think of Harry Potter as a being a fictional character and his magical world one that doesn’t exist. The world depicted in Harry Potter, however, shows many aspects of what the ideal (or at least my ideal) is for our future newspapers, one that will be laced with technology instead of magic yet preserve analog aspects of our lives.

For technology, as it evolves, is performing magic in ways that we have never before imagined. The newspaper featured in the Harry Potter books (the Daily Prophet), for instance, is in paper form, but the photos in the pictures are moving images. The Daily Prophet is a preliminary form of what newspapers of the future will look like. Once the “electronic paper” being developed at institutes such as MIT becomes a mass product, our newspapers will look like that. The “paper” will have the traits of the conventional newspaper in that the editors can organize the layout in relevance to news importance, but it will support articles that are magically (digitally) downloaded and the photographs will be stills that become video clips when touched.

Hopefully, future technology will also enable reporters to have the “magic feather pen” that reporter Rita Skeeter has. It will be able to transcribe voice conversations accurately so that reporters will not have to listen to long interviews that they have conducted. Currently, this process has been made much easier due to the digital recorder, which enables audio to be made into MP3s, but a digital transcriber has yet to be developed.

One thing that will hopefully not follow the Potter world is that there will be multiple media in competition with each other. As can be seen in the Potter series, the fact that the Daily Prophet is the only news source helps it manipulate public opinion and shows all the kinds of negative things that can happen when a media is under the control of one party of specific interest (which in the case of the Potter is the Ministry of Magic).

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One response to “Harry Potter shows the future of newspapers.

  1. Pingback: The New York Times sheds some serifs | D. Yvette Wohn·

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