To close out 2014, we asked some of the smartest people we know to predict what 2015 will bring for the future of journalism. Here’s what they had to say.
Latoya Peterson
“We have to stop thinking about how to leverage whatever hot social platform is making headlines and instead spend time understanding how communication is changing.”
Robert Hernandez
“Creative content people are frustrated with the industry and creating their content on their own terms. Sound familiar?”
Alisha Ramos
“You’d be surprised at how many jokes in Slack have evolved into real stories or features on our sites.”
Raju Narisetti
“20/20 is good as hindsight goes, but if 2020 is your target for major change, you are in deep trouble.”
Jeanne Brooks
“Those conversations will inform innovation in reporting and design methodologies and continue to revolutionize the ways we keep communities informed.”
Rachel Sklar
“Organizations are realizing that actual diversity results takes effort and commitment, and can’t be waved away with an obligatory seminar and vague promises to do better. It comes down to making it a priority.”
Lauren Henry Scholz
“2015 will see a return to discussion formats that permit individuals to create and maintain a profile separate from their primary social and professional profile.”
Dayo Olopade
“Investment in foreign reporting for foreign audiences is the next step for western media.”
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Matt Dennewitz
“We need to indulge the idea that the quality of ad design should pace that of our content design.”
Katie Zhu
“Not quite the cassette tape you made your high school crush, but similar in sentiment.”
Alfred Hermida
“The notifications from news apps that make it onto that lock screen are in prime position to capture attention. The lock screen is the new bundle.”
Sue Schardt
“The best attitude for navigating the next year is one of receptivity — understanding that so many things are opening and expanding in ways we can’t perceive.”
David Sleight
“At some point, the printing press, radio, and television were all ‘technology’ too. Now they’re Journalism 101. Yesterday’s ‘technology’ is an integral part of today’s daily routine.”
Ryan Gantz
“By coupling a format that encourages intimacy with a network design that encourages out-of-context amplification, Twitter has evolved into something fundamentally volatile.”
Jer Thorp
“Do You Know Your Data?”
Juliette De Maeyer
“How can reality be known? Through the drug-hazed account of Dr. Gonzo, or with a good old factual, inverted-pyramid report?”
Maria Bustillos
“Facebook now consists of a stream of advertisements interspersed with your friends’ wedding and baby photos. Why should this organization have any effect whatsoever on news, politics, or any other serious area of our culture?”
Pablo Boczkowski
“News organizations used to get by with minimal research expenditures because, for most of the second half of the 20th century, they had major profits and operated in fairly stable markets.”
Zizi Papacharissi
“It’s a mistake to characterize gonzo as emotional and thus erratic: On the contrary, the approach is about emotion applied carefully — curated emotion, emotion and reason working together, objectivity and subjectivity as parallel processes and not polar opposites.”
Zeynep Tufekci
“Algorithmic judgment is the uncanny valley of computing.” headshotsMira Lowe
Mira Lowe
“What news can we deliver in a glimpse?”
Matt Thompson
“What if some of our beats were reimagined as seasons, with a bit more structure and focus, and a bit less permanence?”
Katie Park
“The longer we wait, the more stories we miss, the more information we endanger, and the harder it is for us to adopt secure practices.”
Raney Aronson-Rath
“Will virtual reality deliver a journalism experience and immerse our audience in the story in a way we couldn’t before? Or will it feel too intrusive?”
Amanda Hale
“When it comes to native, publishers once again own the printing press.”
Katherine Bell
“Understanding how the organization plans to sustain itself and grow isn’t a violation of Church and State.”
C.W. Anderson
“‘Liberal arts journalism is not dead, or even dying. It might actually be more robust than ever.”
John Herrman
“We never should have given in to that terrible word.”
Hayley Nelson
“For those of us with one foot in the print world and the other online, we need new systems that enable us to write once, run anywhere, and move fast.”
Trushar Barot
“International news brands have been paying serious attention to the country’s rapacious appetite for news for some time, but this year saw a marked step up.”
Heidi Moore
“There’s a vast segment of America that wants to consume news, but isn’t as savvy and app-happy as journalists.”
Dan Shanoff
“The inverted pyramid is the new buggy whip.”
Aaron Williams
“Newsrooms will need to focus on creating secure products with engaging content that blends text, data, and graphics seamlessly.”
Amy Webb
“Smart news organizations know that in 2015, the value of our attention will continue to eclipse the value of our clicks.”
Millie Tran
“The old challenge was often phrased as getting it first or getting it right, but in the knowledge-first era journalists face a new mandate — getting it to make sense.”
Melody Kramer
“The news industry. Well, everyone’s going to be getting the news on their phones. I don’t know. Huh.”
Philip Bump
“News organizations send out notifications with news that they consider important. The recipients not infrequently disagree.”
Tiff Fehr
“The same bingo drinking-game template works for tech’s back-patting and journalism’s navel-gazing. Journalism indulges its own buzzwords, dogma, and secret-handshake crap.”
Noah Chestnut
“In 2015, I expect more of your colleagues to care about user paths and actions.”
Felix Salmon
“The losers are going to be external websites who have become reliant on the Facebook traffic firehose. That traffic is going to start falling, in 2015, for the first time.”
Nick Diakopoulos
“There’s more at stake in the competition around platforms than market share and money. It’s a question of values.”
Robin Sloan
“She won’t be a hater — never that — but she will have an unwavering compass, and she will make BuzzFeed a better, stronger, more serious place.”
S. Mitra Kalita
“I predict we’ll get a lot more comfortable with our passions, obsessions, biases, confusion, hypotheses, addictions, sordid pasts, tense futures.”
Lydia Polgreen
“Attention span is the new Page 1.”
Kawandeep Virdee
“Beyond Facebook, we may even see muted autoplay become more common because of how powerful it is to get attention.”
Emi Kolawole
“The path between the story and someone’s ability to act on it is getting shorter.”
Craig Saila
“No longer will there be a singular front page — instead, each person will see a news mix refined ever so slightly to reflect their region, interests, and habits.”
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen
“Digital intermediaries like Google and Facebook increasingly face political issues both at home and abroad.”
Paul Ford
“Venture capital, after its brief dalliance with the media industry, will forget about content and return to its first love, totally imaginary markets.”
Reyhan Harmanci
“The good news, though, is that its stranglehold on the publishing economy might be loosening.”
Sarah Marshall
“Name me a paid-for news site with a payment method so easy that a new subscriber could sign up in less than five minutes while in a dark room after having consumed a few glasses of festive punch.”
Alberto Cairo
“There is an increased interest in data analysis, how to extract information from data to tell stories.”
Errin Whack
“When we begin to think of race as something we should all care about, no longer will the black reporter be the first to raise her hand to go to Ferguson.”
Almar Latour
“The ‘Chinese wall’ cannot be the only concept governing relations between newsrooms and business.”
Jason Parham
“Personal, and typically IRL, disagreements will find new life online in 2015. Writers will call bullshit on other writers, pointing fingers, responding with substance and heart.”
Rachel Davis Mersey
“We need them to tell important stories from a perspective about which the audience cares and in a manner which enraptures them.”
Jamie Mottram
“Everyone starts adding SMS share buttons to content.”
Aaron Edwards
“The excuse that it’s ‘too hard’ to find good journalists of diverse backgrounds is complete crap.”
Dheerja Kaur
“Media companies are finally realizing that content creators are their most important users.”
Cory Haik
“Purely chasing pageviews is a fool’s errand. In the short term, it gets you a bigger comScore number. But those calories are empty.”
Jacob Harris
“The wave of bullshit data is rising, and now it’s our turn to figure out how not to get swept away.”
Matt Waite
“We will pass from the connections. It makes sense to fact-check a twerking video. Thankfully there’s no thundersnow.”
Stacy-Marie Ishmael
“Photographers, photo editors, and stalwarts of the picture desk, rejoice. We need you now, again, and more than ever.”
Richard J. Tofel
“Resisting the temptation to greater profit now could go some ways to mitigating loss later.”
Valérie Bélair-Gagnon
“Drones going mainstream has serious implications both for the future of journalism and for researchers of journalism.”