Brooke Gladstone addresses a media literacy class at the Merrill College.

“In five years, I think the journalist will be an expert, a contextualizer, an analyst and an investigator,” Brooke Gladstone, co-host of NPR’s “On the Media,” told a Merrill College media literacy class last week.

As the Internet allows more people to publish news, Gladstone told students they need to develop a stronger expertise in a particular subject and be able to analyze information as well as gather it.

Gladstone stressed the continued importance of good storytelling, and emphasized a growing need for visual storytelling. She said professional journalists in the future will likely use more visual methods to explain information. Data visualizations in particular can help people process information more quickly.

Gladstone discussed her use of graphics to examine media literacy in her graphic novel, “The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media.” The book was selected as the “First Year Book” read by all freshmen at the University of Maryland this year.

She said she chose the comic book format because it offered an intimate, one-on-one storytelling format analogous to the intimacy she’s accustomed to through her popular weekly radio show. A long-time NPR commentator, Gladstone previously was senior editor of NPR’s “Weekend Edition with Scott Simon” and senior editor of “All Things Considered.” She also reported for NPR from Russia.