And a woman shall lead them

“If 2017 was the year of the purge, 2018 will be the year of renewal. Women news leaders will direct the restoration of news organizations as a public trust.”

Women will lead the news industry’s revolution. This will be a year of reckoning, the year a new wave of diverse news leaders shapes American journalism and insures that voices of the underrepresented, the marginalized, the assaulted, the citizens of the Midwest and Deep South are included in the news narratives of the day on politics, sexual assault, law enforcement, and economic justice.

Across the news industry, and the culture at large, leaders continue to be exposed and terminated for inappropriate sexual conduct. The tumult will contribute to a power shift in news leadership in 2018 and a redefined relationship with the audience. The departures open the door for a new wave of women news leaders to join editors like Michelle Holmes of al.com who develop stories about the political power of black women in Alabama even before they demand to be heard.

When sexual misconduct claims derailed Roger Ailes, few imagined the opening of the floodgates that would lead to a purge of journalists who had been household names for a generation. The upheaval in media has caused the industry to hold a mirror to itself like never before. The Mirror Awards sponsored by Syracuse University, an annual prize that recognizes journalism that shines a light on the news industry itself, have taken on newfound significance as organizations like NPR, PBS, NBC, CBS, and others call out and drive out the ill-behaved scourge on the industry. The purge has not happened in a vacuum. Frederick Douglass tells us “power concedes nothing without a demand.” The changes afoot are at the agitation of women and men who demand better from our colleagues. When the dust settles in 2018, more women news leaders will preside over newsrooms, assigned the messy task of getting their news houses in order.

During the 2000s, many American newsrooms in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and San Jose were run by women. As the industry shifted and women pivoted, the best efforts to diversify newsrooms were greatly diminished. Many of the top women in news were replaced. Even fewer black and brown women, nearly rendered invisible — like Aminda Marquez Gonzales in Miami, Sherri Marshall in Macon, Georgia, and me in Akron and Cleveland — worked quietly and alone in the trenches, trying to uphold the core news values of speaking truth to power and serving readers the best we could, in spite of shifting priorities that put digital first but not necessarily people first.

A new day is already dawning. Women industry leaders continue to destroy the president’s “fake news” narrative while exposing his patterns of misogyny and assault. Lydia Polgreen has spent a year running HuffPost and Sally Buzbee has spent a year as executive editor of the Associated Press. Lauren Williams recently (in September) was named editor-in-chief of Vox. Dana Canady in 2018 will preside as the new administrator for the Pulitzer Prizes. In January, Yamiche Alcindor, currently of The New York Times and one of my favorite emerging leaders, will join PBS NewsHour as the White House correspondent, standing on the giant shoulders of Gwen Ifill. These appointments are significant. News leaders hold the power to decide whose story gets told and to shape the narrative ultimately delivered. All three of journalism’s top fellowships — the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, the John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University and the Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan — are run by extraordinary women news leaders. In 2018, Houston Chronicle editor Nancy Barnes will become president of the American Society of News Editors, the national organization that represents news leaders. The growing number of women in journalism’s most important assignments signals a new day for an industry desperately in need of some soul searching.

Women in news philanthropy will help reimagine news in local communities. In cities like Detroit, Jennifer Preston and Katy Locker of the Knight Foundation, Barbara Raab and Farai Chideya of the Ford Foundation, and Mariam Noland and Katie Brisson of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan are shaping a new local news ecosystem rooted in community engagement. The three foundations just announced hundreds of thousands of dollars in Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund investments for independent, nonprofit, and ethnic news organizations. News outlets like Outlier Media and Allied Media — women-led, Detroit-based news organizations — are among the 2018 recipients, committed to telling the stories of all of the people living in their community, and gathering and delivering information in the most accessible ways, via text message in Outlier’s case.

In 2018, the 50th-anniversary year of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., women news leaders in corporate and nonprofit news outlets, in news startups, in philanthropy, and in higher education will save the industry from itself, amplifying the voices of people of color, the economically challenged, the sexually exploited, and other marginalized people on the way to restoring trust and credibility. If 2017 was the year of the purge, 2018 will be the year of renewal. Women news leaders will direct the restoration of news organizations as a public trust.

Debra Adams Simmons is executive editor for culture at National Geographic.

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Jake Levine   The return to now

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Paul Ford   Go global

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Burt Herman   Things get real

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact