Reversing the erosion of democracy

“Facts matter, and we need to believe in that.”

2017 will be the year journalism gets back to basics. Who are we and why should anyone pay the slightest attention, let alone money, to us? The answer must be that we serve a purpose. Broadly, that service is reliable facts and information that help you live your life and fulfill your role as a citizen. Facts matter, and we need to believe in that.

michael-oreskesBut to understand what that means from day to day, we have to get much more engaged with audiences to understand their unmet needs. There will be different demands from different audiences. We should resist steps that drag us into the appearance of partisanship while reaffirming our essential role holding government to account at all levels.

Reinventing and reinvigorating our role as a convener and bridge builder will take center stage. Engaging across the many fractures in America will help reestablish trust. We need that trust.

We are the providers of independent, reliable information that democracy needs. But without faith in that information and us as the providers, the democracy erodes. That’s been going on for years now. We have a role in reversing that erosion. To do it, we have to be clear about who we are.

Michael Oreskes is senior vice president of news and editorial director at NPR.

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Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

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Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

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Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

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Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

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Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

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Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

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Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

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Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

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Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

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

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Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

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