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.

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

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

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

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Trushar Barot   API or die

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

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

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

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

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

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

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Mario Garcia   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

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

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

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

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing