Paolo Bacigalupi, “one of the most exciting of the new breed of [science fiction] short story writers,” provides a view from a newsroom of the future.
My colleagues’ faces flicker gray and pale in the light of their computers and tablets. The tap of their keyboards fills the newsroom as they pass content down the workflow chain and then, with a final keystroke and an obeisance to the “publish” button, they hurl it onto the net.
In the maelstrom, their work flares, tagged with site location, content tags, and social poke data. Blooms of color, codes for media conglomerates: shades of blue and Mickey Mouse ears for Disney-Bertelsmann. A red-rimmed pair of rainbow O’s for Google’s AOL News…
New content blossoms on the screen, bathing us all in the bloody glow of a Google News content flare… They’ve scooped us.