Honesty in advertising

“This is the era of media companies as facilitators. How can we build and leverage tools that move the entire advertising ecosystem forward? Media is now a proactive economy, not a reactive one.”

In the journalism and media business, 2018 is the year we, as an industry, need to bring ideology to action.

Traditionally, the breakout of a media company’s asset allocation is what I call the 80/15/5 rule; 80 percent towards the core offering (news, video, content), 15 percent towards product and engineering to help that content, and then 5 percent towards commercial strategy. And in that 5 percent, the focus is almost strictly sales, partnership, and marketing, looking to adhere to what brands and businesses are asking and not necessarily directing them. This needs to change.

The role of commercial strategy in media organizations needs to be an innovation-led, engineering-embedded environment. Business growth and strategy can no longer be an afterthought — it must be ingrained in the structure and ideologies of the company. Media companies must shift from dependence to independence. That means having a mindset that what can and will be built for revenue should be done as a product that can live independently of your platform.

Owning your own LUMAscape: Since the beginning of the web, outside vendors have seen an opportunity to inject value into larger media organizations by helping them drive more revenue, grow more audience, and increase scale and return through technology. However, this came at a cost: Organizations lost control of their performance, speed, user experience, and growth because of these external dependencies. Restructuring internally and focusing on technology-as-Switzerland can and will drive innovation throughout the entire organization.

Learning from what works and promoting collaboration: The phenomenon and value of native advertising isn’t that it’s content. It’s because for the first time, in a long time, there is a product that is a collaboration across clients, agencies, and publishers. To solve challenges with native advertising, we can take what works and hasn’t to set a path for building a media business of the future. How can we make all campaigns and executions collaborative, and facilitate that ability through technology?

Taking ideologies to action: We’re entering an era of advertising honesty. It is time to be truthful in what the value and experience should be and have media companies invest in the ability to facilitate and lead by example. We are actively identifying why brands work with media companies, and how we can take what they have and deliver it in a way that gets the right reaction from consumers. That honesty is also an acknowledgement that media companies need to take ownership in order to make this change actually happen. How can we build tools and change mindset to help clients and advertisers get from a to b faster on and off platforms? It is our responsibility, as a publisher and media company, to build the tools that can help our clients and users have a great experience.

That moment of clarity, knowing that there must be investment on the media side to help change and take ownership of the business model, is crucial. Though it may sting in the short term, it will allow for a lead-by-example approach to the advertiser business model and put the media company in the director’s chair. This is the era of media companies as facilitators. How can we build and leverage tools that move the entire advertising ecosystem forward?

Media is now a proactive economy, not a reactive one. Not just in terms of differentiation, but as a course for survival. Media and journalism aren’t in trouble. It’s the business of media and journalism that is, and that’s what we need to fix. And will.

Jarrod Dicker is vice president for innovation at The Washington Post.

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

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

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

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

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Jake Levine   The return to now

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

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

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

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

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Burt Herman   Things get real

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

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

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

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

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

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

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

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

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

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

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

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

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

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

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

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

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

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

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

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

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Paul Ford   Go global

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

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

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

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

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

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

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level