2
0
1
9

Engaging people across lines of difference

“I see journalists actively engaging societal divides as a trend poised to take off, whether it’s rural/urban differences, political divisiveness, or any of the multitude of other cleavages facing society.”

A core component of the journalistic enterprise is helping people understand what they cannot directly experience: decision-making in Congress, fighting a war overseas, discovering the outer bounds of the solar system, you name it. Reading about NASA’s Mars InSight lander isn’t the only way to feel like you’re on another planet, though. The polarization that characterizes our society can make those on the other side of an issue seem just as distant.

I think journalism is helping to change this.

In the year to come, I see journalists actively engaging societal divides as a trend poised to take off, whether it’s rural/urban differences, political divisiveness, or any of the multitude of other cleavages facing society. Journalism has an opportunity to provide an incredible service. I think we should be asking: How can journalism help us understand those who voted differently? Those who practice a different religion? Those who live just 30 minutes away?

In some ways these are old questions, but the new ways in which journalists are pursing this work are what’s truly noteworthy. KUOW, for example, hosted speed-dating-style forums for interested participants to meet people who they might not otherwise (e.g., “Ask a Muslim”). Spaceship Media and their collaborators set up Facebook groups allowing those with diverse views on topics like guns and immigration to interact. In our review of these efforts, we identified 25 stellar examples of newsrooms doing exactly this work. And I think that we’ve only scratched the surface of what journalism could do.

As news organizations look for ways to build community trust, engaging people across lines of difference strikes me as a promising approach. There will be holdouts, to be sure. Engagement efforts take resources and they do not have the reach of traditional journalism. But, they can pay dividends and their effects can be extended through coverage.

As 2019 undoubtedly brings new types of misinformation, attempts to further polarize the public, and new economic challenges, I see newsrooms as helping to light bridges across divides.

Talia Stroud is director of the Center for Media Engagement and associate professor of communication studies and journalism at the University of Texas.

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Matt Karolian   Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Elisabeth Goodridge   Yes, they signed up — but our job’s not over

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Local news isn’t where you thought it was

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Alyssa Zeisler   We expand what (and how and who) we serve

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Seth C. Lewis   The gap between journalism and research is too wide

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Hossein Derakhshan   The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Matt Waite   “I went to Node.js because I wished to live deliberately”

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Robin Kwong   Tech shouldn’t be the only field pollinating “news nerds”

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

Hearken   Pivot to people

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams