A healthy skepticism about data

“Political journalism used to be more like anthropology — relying on field work, on long, in-depth interviews. I fear that kind of reporting is now regarded as ‘anecdotal.'”

bill-kellerThis is more wishful thinking than prediction: Journalists, chastened by their failure to see the Trump victory coming, will gain a healthy skepticism about data. Political journalism used to be more like anthropology — relying on field work, on long, in-depth interviews. I fear that kind of reporting is now regarded as “anecdotal.” Okay, you filled a notebook with soul-baring interviews, but where are the metrics? The metrics of 2016 — unreliable polls, economic indicators that told us things were getting better (never mind the back end of the bell curve), low crime rates that don’t measure fear — didn’t tell the story. I’m all for data, but we shouldn’t be slaves to it.

Bill Keller is editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project and previously executive editor of The New York Times.

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Lam Thuy Vo   The primary source in the age of mechanical multiplication

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Anita Zielina   The sales funnel reaches (and changes) the newsroom

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Maria Bustillos   “It’s true — I saw it on Facebook”

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Tressie McMillan Cottom   A path through the media’s coming legitimacy crisis

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   News after advertising may look like news before advertising

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Nushin Rashidian   A rise in high-price, high-value subscriptions

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Trushar Barot   API or die

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Mario García   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Earn trust by working for (and with) readers

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Richard J. Tofel   The country doesn’t trust us — but they do believe us

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click