How can the media cover the future when it’s not happened yet?


Weather, global warming and climate change, according to NASA


“Too often…we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”
– John F. Kennedy

I know of at least one media outlet that has a job with the following title: “Future Correspondent”.

Until I saw that, I never realised the future was a newsbeat. That the future was something you cover just like you do the Water Board, the local Council, Health Services, Crime and Policing etc.

But how do you cover the future? After all, it’s not happened yet.

You do it by assessing the effect of today’s developments on tomorrow.

For instance, the findings of a recent Gallup survey, which said that 120 million people (or more than a quarter of the population of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean) want to move to another country. More than a third (42 million) of those 120 million want to come to the US. Why? What will it mean for the future? And is there an alternative future?

Those were the sort of questions that Bryan Walsh, Future Correspondent of Axios, set out to answer.  He noted the role of climate change in actual migration – or the desire to migrate – of tens of millions of people. “It will be one of the mega-trends of the 21st century,” he added.

And he underlined the importance of action now on the part of wealthy countries like the US because the flow of people “may never stop”.


It seems to me that a Future Correspondent doesn’t need to have seen the future, just the writing on the wall.