Your predictions are our present

“The time when everything in journalism and media happened in the States and was then exported to the rest of the world is over.”

Dear American colleagues: Look abroad. Your predictions for 2017 are probably already happening somewhere else.

The time when everything in journalism and media happened in the States and was then exported to the rest of the world is over. The financial crisis hit European countries so hard that not only the news industry was reconfigured, but so was the whole political framework in which they develop their businesses. And from there, innovation is growing. If you want to make predictions for your future, have a look at our present.

juan-luis-sanchezThe New York Times had a huge increase of digital subscriptions after receiving some direct accusations from new president-elect Donald Trump. Is that an isolated event? No, it is not.

We at eldiario.es have been 4 years now developing our membership program as an innovative funding model. Our members (we call them “socios”) are not paying to read the news; they pay for the news to be spread. No paywall, no gifts. They are not interested in being our clients but our partners-in-crime for that social mission called journalism. We have 20,000 members, paying 60 euros a year, who are there to protect us, to encourage us, and to send a message: We believe democracies need better journalism.

The Guardian has been building for a year its membership program too. Have a look at their marketing for fundraising while surfing the site. They all talk about the need for the project and independent journalism “more than ever,” an implicit general allusion to Brexit. It’s not about the news — it’s about the project’s attributes. Are you credible? Are you trustable? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

Then we can visit a few more small newsrooms in Europe, such as Atlatzo in Hungary or Denník in Slovakia or Mediapart in France. These are projects which have developed quality journalism, even investigative skills, based on the support of their audiences. Audiences who are part of the project, not the product being sold to advertisers who sometimes don’t care whether the content is fake, post-factual, a lie, or whatever.

Building trust is building quality. And if you have a loyal community then you probably can ask them for help. How do you grow a public who has that sense of belonging? Try social networks, try newsletters, try to use your personal touch, try to treat the readers as adults…We all know that. And then try creating little communities who are short in numbers but strong in engagement.

For instance, at eldiario.es we have a Telegram group for readers. We have now more than 15,000 members in that group. We share with them some insights of our newsroom, audio notes, and, yes, sometimes funny gifs or stickers. Of course, their usefulness in a comScore competition is none. But their value for us is huge.

We also focus on personalization in our new app for smartphones. You will receive notifications not about whatever the managing editor finds important, but on the topics you find most important to you. If you’re not interested in NBA results, why would you want to be bothered after dinner with the score? If you are really interested in LGBT rights, why shouldn’t you be notified when a gay marriage law is passed in Argentina?

If you want to escape noise, know better your audience. If you want to run away from post-factual journalism, find a trustable social contract with your readers. If you want to be respected by people, try to get closer to them. Not as clients, not as the product being sold, but as your best friends.

Juan Luis Sánchez is deputy editor-in-chief at eldiario.es.

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

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

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

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

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Mario Garcia   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

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

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Trushar Barot   API or die

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

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

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

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

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

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

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

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