I want to introduce into our discussion the term „Digitalist“, the successor of bloggers and journalist within 5y. Let me do some very pointy and rough assumptions:
“Digitalist” derives from “Digital” and “Journalist”
The Digitalist has all the assets of today’s journalists (knowledge of specific field, personal network of persons with information and the skill to present the new combined information to the audience in an article, TV report or audio). Additional to that the Digitalist runs his own business, because unlikely to the today journalist he is independent of media houses (publishing house, TV station, Radio station) for the distribution of his content. Distribution via web / social media is costless. The income of the Digitalist will derive from alternative streams: payed speeches at conferences, consultancy in the field of competence, selling studies, writing books (for non-2.0ers) or becoming an employed corporate manager in the field of communication and reputation management.
The down side for content consumers in this futuristic picture is, that they have the manual work of collecting the Digitalists of their choice to fulfill their need for information. This is already today painful and time consuming.
There I see a new additional role for media houses. The shall consider becoming media aggregators, which run intelligent systems of collecting Digitalist-articles for me as content consumer and pushes them onto my mobile or any other screen I prefer. The push of information shall be based on my location (GPS-smartphone), likes (FB and others), my searches and favorites. Of course I want to have a section of „what my friends and colleagues are reading“. Media houses can monetize this aggregation service by advertisement or subscriptions again (same business model as today).
The competition for the media houses in the aggregation field will be the social media platforms with their like-systems. My rough guess is that media houses will prevail because the have more content competence and the social media system will welcome media aggregators via their APIs to intensify the traffic. Who will earn then the advertising bucks stays an open game.
The Digitalist will be the journalist, report and blogger of the future with his/her own costless digital distribution of content and alternative streams of income.
The media house may consider to keep the intimacy with the content consumer as the media aggregator of choice.