A longer view on the pivot

“Users are looking for journalism to fit their busy lives instead of finding ways to fit its former rigid form into their own. We should embrace creating content in diverse formats not because the platforms demand it, but instead because users do.”

In 2018, let’s stop using the pivot to video as a punchline. It’s been terrific shorthand for the very specific practice of flooding feeds with short-form video to appease the algo-gods. But the phrase’s ubiquity and the derision with which we use it obscure an important reality.

The diversification of media is here to stay. As publishers, we need to meet this opportunity with quality in every format we choose to pursue.

Media formats have been diversifying for decades. Consider the long march from print to radio to television to digital. That diversification quickened in recent years to take advantage of all of the gifts of mobile and social. Our media consumption habits today include podcasts, Snap stories, text, short-form social video, documentaries, graphics, interactives, headlines in feeds, Alexa briefings and more. Users are looking for journalism to fit their busy lives instead of finding ways to fit its former rigid form into their own.

This is an important distinction, one too often overlooked in our lovable, cynical newsrooms. We should embrace creating content in diverse formats not because the platforms demand it, but instead because users do.

The much-derided sound-off, Facebook video clip began as a novel form of storytelling, one that took a user’s context into account. That it spawned a league of imitators — some good, some bad — speaks more to the unsettled nature of our business models than it does to the shift itself. This year, let’s not just follow the herd or the platforms toward the next big thing, but instead lean into the formats we can execute with the kind of quality that attracts fans and loyalists and is unique to each of the brands we represent.

The beginnings of this shift are all around us — and they don’t look like fodder the “pivot” cliche calls to mind. The story of the Charlottesville riots was brought viscerally to life through live video and images from journalists on the ground and in Vice’s impressive doc work.

Seth Meyers and John Oliver are showing us how to capture a user’s attention for much longer than a three-second video view by layering humor over aggregation to tell a full story. The Daily makes longform adapt to a user’s busy morning — either at home or en route.

We live in a world full of incredibly powerful screens. We could fill those screens with video repurposed from broadcast or text repurposed from print. Or we could create something new, native to platform, that tell stories in new ways. There is no doubt that the next generation of news lovers will expect this diversification. We owe them creativity, accuracy, style, voice, timeliness, convenience, and humility. This year, let’s put some muscle into it.

Julia Beizer is a vice president of product in the media division at Oath.

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Errin Haines   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Paul Ford   Go global

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Jake Levine   The return to now

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Burt Herman   Things get real

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot