Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

“2017 may be the year Facebook gets permanently branded as part of the problem.”

Journalism as opposition. This sounds like a partisan stance, but it really isn’t. There are a few macro forces pushing journalism into attack mode: President-elect Donald Trump’s frightening stance toward the press; the rise of fake news (read: propaganda); our descent into a “post-truth” fog; lies by public officials; increasingly prominent and frequent acts of hatred; a general glut of things to read and watch. All of these will clarify journalism’s mission next year. Standing up and telling the truth will seem radical and urgent in 2017. The basic spadework of journalism — David Farenthold’s doggedness comes to mind  — will begin to break through the national conversation in a way that hasn’t happened in years.

ryan-mccarthyVisual journalism wins. There’s been a lot of pivoting to video by web media companies, moves that have mostly overestimated readers’ appetite for video (and the ability to make money of it). But there’s more going on here. TV channels are trying to become websites; websites are trying to become like TV channels. On Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, readers have become to expect a visual layer places on top of stories. Online news is quickly becoming visual, and at Vice News we build that into the core of what we do.

In 2017, the pivot to video so many web publishes have made will begin to shake out. Here’s more wishful thinking: Quality will win, mostly. Traditional media stalwarts like The New York Times and The Washington Post will formalize their commitment to visual journalism. Visual journalism — and eventual integration with TV — will begin to become table stakes for big web media companies.

Platforms grow up — or grow even more toxic. Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit will be forced to finally, begrudgingly accept their influence on society, on political and cultural polarization. Pizzagate won’t be the last time the fetid river of online bullshit spills into the real world. Beyond their increasingly fraught relationship with news, platforms will face a pretty simple calculus: correct for civility or risk losing users en masse (look what happened to Twitter). I’m not predicting that people start abandoning Facebook in 2017, but it’s getting dangerously close to losing its monopoly on our attention. 2017 may be the year Facebook gets permanently branded as part of the problem.

Ryan McCarthy is editor-in-chief of Vice News.

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Trushar Barot   API or die

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Richard J. Tofel   The country doesn’t trust us — but they do believe us

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Nushin Rashidian   A rise in high-price, high-value subscriptions

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   News after advertising may look like news before advertising

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Anita Zielina   The sales funnel reaches (and changes) the newsroom

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Earn trust by working for (and with) readers

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Mario Garcia   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Tressie McMillan Cottom   A path through the media’s coming legitimacy crisis

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Maria Bustillos   “It’s true — I saw it on Facebook”

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Lam Thuy Vo   The primary source in the age of mechanical multiplication

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war