The triumph of the small

“Rather than retreating into making or craft, we will retreat into smaller and more nuanced connections. Into quality over quantity. Into the single story over collections of stories. Into the subtle over the general.”

Sometime around 1995, we changed.

liz-danzicoWe changed because the Internet seemed to move from the unknown and unreachable to the possible. A prosumer activity to a consumer activity. It was open. It was available. And most who weren’t already there, wanted to be there for its promise. In 1995, amid my excitement over what could be digital, I was still reading two different newspapers over breakfast each morning and listening to two different public radio stations in two different parts of the house. While not efficient, the gaps and differences between the reporting taught me about opinion. About choice. About editorial decision-making. And about truth.

Sometime around 2007, we changed again. In 2007, the digital possible moved from our desktops to our hands. Everything was indeed possible, just as they said in 1995. While still thrilling to receive a handwritten letter or a telephone call, perhaps even more enchanting was an email. A ping straight into our everyday that did not obey the rhythms or etiquette of the postman, the workday, or dinnertime.

Meantime, sometime between then and now, people returned to craft. Amid some uncertainty out in the world, people returned to making. Retreating into handmade objects, slow processes, face-to-face friendships and pleasures, people demonstrated that while we can’t change the world through artisanal coffee, we can reinforce the human values that seemed unrequited through rectangular glass.

Sometime around 2016, we changed again. Or rather, we began a media evolution that would continue for years to come. Public blurred with private. Truth blurred with fiction. Celebrity blurred with identity. Purpose blurred with perception.

And sometime around 2017, we will change again. The new year will bring a different kind of retreat. Rather than retreating into making or craft, we will retreat into smaller and more nuanced connections. Into quality over quantity. Into the single story over collections of stories. Into the subtle over the general. Into the singular datapoint over big data. Into attention over distraction. 2017 will ring triumphs for the small and true, the richness of a single moment, and a celebration of what is, rather than what is not.

Liz Danzico is creative director for NPR and chair and cofounder of the graduate program in interaction design at the School of Visual Arts.

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Trushar Barot   API or die

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Mario García   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

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

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

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

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

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

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

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

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

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

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

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

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Errin Haines   Chaos or community?

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

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

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”