Time to pay up

“Websites and email newsletters will remain the two most important tools for independent news publishing and distribution, three decades running.”

1. We will all finally accept Facebook for what it is — a nice place to share photos of family and friends and pets, a handy marketing tool, and a fragmented echo chamber that is inhospitable to public service journalism.

mark-armstrong2. The news media will get more serious about subscriptions. Financial support from readers will be even more necessary to help protect them from government intervention and from new legal threats by aggrieved billionaires with fragile egos.

3. Those who simply play the viral content game will find themselves left out of the next era — where we must get more serious about the journalism we do, and why we do it, or the world’s readers will cast us off as unnecessary and pointless.

4. Some smart person will develop a WordPress plugin for creating Twitter threads on a blog and syndicating them, one-by-one, to Twitter.

5. Newspaper businesses will continue to consolidate, but still produce outstanding work with the resources they have. Fledgling digital news sites will launch, some startups will fold, and the last ones standing will be the ones you directly support with your money. (See No. 2, above.)

6. Websites and email newsletters will remain the two most important tools for independent news publishing and distribution, three decades running.

Mark Armstrong is the founder of Longreads and editor at Automattic & WordPress.com.

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Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

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Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

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Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

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Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

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David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

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Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

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Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

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Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

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Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

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

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

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Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

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Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

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Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

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