Show your work

“After several years of listening to journalism’s sages talk about how important it is that we more explicitly explain our processes, we’re finally going to get serious about doing just that.”

Media trust flows partly from transparency — or so the thinking goes. This coming year will be a good one to test that theory, as news organizations dramatically ramp up their efforts to be more open about how they do what they do, and invest energy in transparency’s broader corollary, news literacy.

Trustworthy news organizations follow pretty similar ethics codes. They clearly identify the sources of their information, to the extent possible. They make timely and prominent corrections; they disclose any conflicts of interest, and they tell people who funds their work.

We’ve been assuming all along that most of our listeners and readers and viewers are aware of the best practices that underpin our work. But this past year, it became increasingly apparent that they aren’t, and they are susceptible to counter-arguments designed to discredit us. So in 2018, after several years of listening to journalism’s sages talk about how important it is that we more explicitly explain our processes, we’re finally going to get serious about doing just that.

These actions may be as straightforward as putting a bug on our work to quickly signal our values to news consumers. Or as elaborate as a six-minute video explaining how a big story came about. Audiences are yearning for this information: Last June, nearly 900 people turned out one evening to hear Colorado Public Radio and NPR journalists talk about media ethics and debate how newsroom decisions are made.

Attitudes change slowly. Trust in media has finally started ticking up, ever so slightly, after years of decline. But views on the subject remain politically polarized. These efforts may go the way fact-checking did this year, and quickly get politicized — and made politically suspect — by some with a vested interest in seeing our institutions fail. But whether or not the polls immediately reward our efforts, what choice is there for journalists who, in the end, just want to report honestly and have their work believed? Add it to the job description; this work is necessary, too.

Elizabeth Jensen is the ombudsman/public editor of NPR.

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

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

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Burt Herman   Things get real

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

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

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

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

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

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

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

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

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

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

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

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

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

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

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

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

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

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

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

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

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Jake Levine   The return to now

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Paul Ford   Go global

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

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

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

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

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

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

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading