Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

“Every post published by a newspaper in its social networks triggers comments that are examples of how Brazilian society is divided and, worse, intolerant. The polarization we saw in 2014 is increasing even more as we enter 2018 — not by chance, yet another year of general elections.”

We Brazilian journalists have to admit that we can do more to contribute to the public debate. Every post published by a newspaper in its social networks triggers comments that are examples of how Brazilian society is divided and, worse, intolerant. The polarization we saw in 2014 is increasing even more as we enter 2018 — not by chance, yet another year of general elections.

Of course, it’s not all journalism’s fault. We are immersed in the same tangle of networks that, according to psychoanalyst Christian Dunker, affects our systems of identification and demand, inflates our egos, diminishes our empathy, and creates hatred in the digital world. At the same time that groups close themselves up in filter bubbles with a false sense of consensus, they also attack whoever puts their beliefs in jeopardy.

Far from feeling sorry and pointing fingers, the goal of this second edition of O jornalismo no Brasil (Journalism in Brazil), a partnership between Farol Jornalismo and the Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (Abraji, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism), is to forecast the conditions we’ll see in 2018 and to propose alternatives, in order to write a different story for the year ahead.

The filter bubbles on social networks will not disappear, nor will the lies spread as if they were news. And it’s not only the public that will be affected by these phenomena; good journalism will also be subject to the effects of a society divided and made up of voracious consumers of social media, as shown by researchers Gabriela Zago and Pablo Ortellado. Brazilian journalists should resist the pressure to reduce editorial standards in order to answer a polarized public that demands content for campaigning to share in their social media profiles. But there are ways to win some of these battles. First of all, we must understand how networks work and help our audience do the same.

“Bursting” these bubbles is also possible — using even the very same weapons that trap us inside them. Against fake news bots, for example, researcher Daniel Magalhães foresees “checking bots,” as well as collaboration between newsrooms and media labs as efforts that will help media outlets use algorithms to their advantage.

In this belligerent atmosphere, it will take a lot of skill from reporters to cover the election. Our series points out two themes that will be highlighted in the political debate: public safety and the environment. The former has great appeal to voters and, to escape from “he said, she said” journalism and the “miraculous proposals and magic solutions” that will surely emerge, professor and former police reporter Francisco Amorim bets on data-driven journalism and notions of statistics. His text is also full of practical tips for anyone who will cover the theme in 2018.

Accused of using environmental issues as a bargaining chip, the federal government is expected to conduct more discussions in this area in the first half of next year, predicts journalist Thiago Medaglia, founder of Ambiental Media. Once again, the path of collaboration seems promising, and journalists should be closer to scholars in order to fight misinterpretations of scientific facts.

Improving our products are an important way to confront the industry’s revenue crisis, according to professor and journalist Rafael Sbarai. In 2018, multidisciplinary positions are expected to gain space in journalistic organizations, especially in digital businesses, from where the most innovative services and products in the Brazilian market should emerge.

According to Nina Weingrill and Simone Cunha, from Énois Escola de Jornalismo, the financial health of media outlets is also linked to their credibility recovery. Although the confidence of the Brazilians in the press is still high, these numbers have been falling, following a tendency seen in newspapers abroad and caused mainly by the discrediting on social networks. Partnerships between big outlets and new initiatives, some from the periphery, are expected to increase in the coming year and may help reverse the situation in Brazil. This strategy is a cost-effective alternative in times of increasingly lean newsrooms.

But the most important outcome of this collaboration is the possibility of increasing the public’s trust by diversifying the ways we looks for new stories and the teams that produce them, which are not very representative, a warning note we sounded in last year’s as well. In this issue, we specifically draw attention to the need for newsrooms to reflect on gender inequality in their newsrooms. Veronica Toste, a Ph.D. in sociology, is the one who approaches the subject and presents unpublished numbers recently raised by Abraji and Gênero & Número in the research Mulheres no Jornalismo (Women in Journalism).

Even though politics promises to take up most of the Brazilian news in 2018, there will be, as in every year of presidential elections, a pause in party debates when we’ll turn our eyes to the World Cup in Russia. The huge event will give journalists opportunities to be creative and explore immersive narratives, according to researchers Suzana Barbosa and Adalton dos Anjos Fonseca.

Despite the fact that the prognoses are generally not optimistic, signs of efforts defending the ethical use of technology in elections can already be seen. A public letter was issued this month in order to preserve freedom of speech and access to quality information and to repudiate the dishonest use of false profiles and the propagation of lies masked as news. Among the signatories are journalistic initiatives such as Agência Lupa and Aos Fatos. Focused on the general public, from citizens and candidates to news outlets and civil society organizations, the #NãoValeTudo (#NotAnythingGoes) campaign could well motivate the work of Brazilian journalists and content producers. Let’s make this pact for 2018.

Marcela Donini is cofounder of Farol Jornalismo. Thiago Herdy is a reporter at O Globo and president of Abraji.

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

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

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Paul Ford   Go global

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

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

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

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

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

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

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

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

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

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

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

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

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

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

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

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

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Jake Levine   The return to now

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

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

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

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

Burt Herman   Things get real

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

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

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

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

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

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

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

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

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

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

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

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

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse