The triumph of the small

“Rather than retreating into making or craft, we will retreat into smaller and more nuanced connections. Into quality over quantity. Into the single story over collections of stories. Into the subtle over the general.”

Sometime around 1995, we changed.

liz-danzicoWe changed because the Internet seemed to move from the unknown and unreachable to the possible. A prosumer activity to a consumer activity. It was open. It was available. And most who weren’t already there, wanted to be there for its promise. In 1995, amid my excitement over what could be digital, I was still reading two different newspapers over breakfast each morning and listening to two different public radio stations in two different parts of the house. While not efficient, the gaps and differences between the reporting taught me about opinion. About choice. About editorial decision-making. And about truth.

Sometime around 2007, we changed again. In 2007, the digital possible moved from our desktops to our hands. Everything was indeed possible, just as they said in 1995. While still thrilling to receive a handwritten letter or a telephone call, perhaps even more enchanting was an email. A ping straight into our everyday that did not obey the rhythms or etiquette of the postman, the workday, or dinnertime.

Meantime, sometime between then and now, people returned to craft. Amid some uncertainty out in the world, people returned to making. Retreating into handmade objects, slow processes, face-to-face friendships and pleasures, people demonstrated that while we can’t change the world through artisanal coffee, we can reinforce the human values that seemed unrequited through rectangular glass.

Sometime around 2016, we changed again. Or rather, we began a media evolution that would continue for years to come. Public blurred with private. Truth blurred with fiction. Celebrity blurred with identity. Purpose blurred with perception.

And sometime around 2017, we will change again. The new year will bring a different kind of retreat. Rather than retreating into making or craft, we will retreat into smaller and more nuanced connections. Into quality over quantity. Into the single story over collections of stories. Into the subtle over the general. Into the singular datapoint over big data. Into attention over distraction. 2017 will ring triumphs for the small and true, the richness of a single moment, and a celebration of what is, rather than what is not.

Liz Danzico is creative director for NPR and chair and cofounder of the graduate program in interaction design at the School of Visual Arts.

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

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

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

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

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Mario García   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

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

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

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

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Trushar Barot   API or die

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

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

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

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

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

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

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

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

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream