Stop flying over the flyover states

“We have to stop thinking of these people as subjects we cover and relate to them as neighbors, friends, and readers we make journalism for.”

Donald Trump’s victory left us with an overarching feeling that the media doesn’t really know all of America. While I don’t think more coverage would have completely negated the bad polling, we know we could be better at not only covering major news events in the area between the coasts, but truly understanding the people and culture there. We’ll see a renewed focus on covering the Midwest and South in 2017.

rachel-schallomFull disclosure: I am from the Midwest, and I own a “Midwest is Best” tank top. As Nelly and I both say, I’m from the Lou and I’m proud. I’ve been away from home for almost five years, and the difference in news coverage is undeniable. This goes both ways — there are Missouri stories that should be picked up by national outlets, and there are national stories presented differently in the Midwest than they are on the coasts. We cannot deny that the conversations about immigration and health care differ depending on where you live, and we have to do more than publish “how to talk to your family at Thanksgiving” guides. If we want to create a more inclusive, more unified readership, we have to at least speak the same language. As Trump wages a daily battle against the media, it’s crucial we connect to people who have felt disconnected from us. And that cannot be accomplished by sending a national reporter to cover a shooting, deadly tornado, or protest. We have to stop thinking of these people as subjects we cover and relate to them as neighbors, friends, and readers we make journalism for.

This is already in motion in some places. For example, The Washington Post is hiring for an America editor role. Diversity in newsrooms will expand to include the region you call home, and hiring managers will recognize the importance of including voices from across the country (but do not use this as an excuse to distract from hiring people of color from everywhere). We will see more national outlets investing in remote reporters and opening bureaus in Midwestern and Southern cities that aren’t named Chicago or Atlanta. This is a good start, but it presents challenges of its own. We need to make sure these remote workers have the same access to resources and have their voices heard by upper management, especially when they are women and people of color.

Hiring for these roles will be tricky. Most journalists choose where to live based on the best job available to them, but it’s hard to invest your life in a place that doesn’t have many other national news outlets. If you’re based in Kansas City and there are layoffs or you want to move on, you’ll likely be faced with moving your family and starting over. This may be fine for entry-level reporters, but it’s a riskier move the more experienced and established you are, and it’s exacerbated even more for those in management. We will be forced to face this vicious cycle of coastal-congested media if we truly want to cover the country inclusively.

Rachel Schallom is senior manager of interactives for Fusion.

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

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

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

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

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

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

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Mario Garcia   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

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

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

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

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

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

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

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

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

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

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Trushar Barot   API or die