The Future of Journalism: Fred Turner

Bianca Al-Shamari, Author

In a time when information is shared more frequently and with more people than ever before, how is media coverage changing along with our policies? The Paly Voice speaks with the chair of the Stanford communications department, Fred Turner, to discuss the role of journalism, the future of free speech, first amendment rights, and how citizens can navigate the politically charged waters of the projected future.

“Young people really matter,” Fred Turner said.

Before joining Stanford, Turner worked as a journalist for over ten years writing for The Boston Phoenix and Boston Sunday Globe, among others, according to his personal website.

Turner emphasized the importance and strength young people have in sculpting the future, particularly by being involved and aware in the coming years.

 “What young people do, when they protest, what young people think, how you have people think about the future, about diversity, those are the things that literally make the world [function],” Turner said.

Turner sees a future for the press, emphasizing that its existence is too crucial to not exist within a society. However, its structure  is projected to experience change as seen by how communication and journalism is being taught differently in the university classroom. According to Turner, the addition of courses like data negotiating, scraping, cleaning and analysis, multimedia storytelling, and Statistics to name a few, according to the Stanford Journalism Program Curriculum.

“I hope it [journalism] has a future,” Turner said. “The press is absolutely crucial to a democratic life, and it’s clear that our current president has anti-democratic leanings and small anti-press leanings. My sense is that the press will survive him, and I sure hope it does because it’s just so essential to American democracy.”