The year of the newsy podcast

“In a crowded marketplace, maybe that’s what young people want — reliable news with a trustworthy perspective. They’re not looking for omniscient objectivity, but trusted, truthful perspectives.”

Yes, you’ve heard this prediction before. And you’re right, podcasting is not new; it’s been around for well over a decade. But, in 2016, with a slew of political podcasts because of the presidential election, news organizations realized the potential for podcasting as a primary news source. They realized there’s an appetite for audio news on-demand that caters to a younger audience (think 35 and under).

asma-khalidFor years, newsy podcasting has mostly been limited to (1) news organizations that are native to audio — think NPR and WNYC; and (2) news organizations that jumped into the market early — think Slate.

In 2017, we’ll see more traditional news organizations, like The New York Times, invest in audio because they see a growth market — a potential to reach thousands of eager young ears. Will legacy media organizations be able to use podcasts to drive younger news consumers back to their work on the radio, online, or in print? We don’t know yet — that will be their challenge.

Nonetheless, I predict we’ll see more news-oriented podcasts from traditional outlets, regardless of their fluency with audio. In other words, the sense of a gold rush that’s permeated the podcasting market since Serial will only swell larger, with startup shows, professional media organizations, and one-hit wonders all flooding iTunes and other podcast platforms. In the long run, many will die; the true barometer of success will likely be the quality of the product. And, in my mind, this is twofold: (1) quality audio production that’s easy and comfortable to listen to, and (2) charismatic hosts with dynamic personalities and diverse perspectives.

Podcasting is sometimes dismissed as nothing more than radio in your ears, on your own schedule, but I beg to differ. It’s far more intimate than traditional radio. And news organizations that realize the power of this intimacy will likely have an advantage in the long run.

I was part of the NPR Politics podcast team this past year; through an ensemble cast, we brought listeners weekly campaign news with a sense of our real personalities. And as a result, listeners were loyal. They felt like we were their friends. And they regularly gave us feedback, far more than we ever receive on traditional radio.

In a crowded marketplace, maybe that’s what young people want — reliable news with a trustworthy perspective. They’re not looking for omniscient objectivity, but trusted, truthful perspectives.

Asma Khalid is a reporter for NPR.

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

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

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Trushar Barot   API or die

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Errin Haines   Chaos or community?

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

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

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

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

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

AX Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

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

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

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

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

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

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Mario García   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

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

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

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

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism