Letting black women tell their own stories

“In 2018, journalism will need to do a better job of seeking out the voices of black women. It will not be enough to give black women credit for the things that they do; it will be crucial to allow their stories to be told through their own voices.”

Many movements in 2017 were either started or shaped by black women. From #MeToo to the recent special election for the Alabama Senate seat, black women showed up and showed out. But too often their voices were drowned out by those with more visibility and left unheard by those who were able to silence them.

In 2018, journalism will need to do a better job of seeking out the voices of black women. It will not be enough to give black women credit for the things that they do; it will be crucial to allow their stories to be told through their own voices.

Representation of black women in journalism will matter. The days of a white women or a non-black women of color reporting on things such as the natural hair movement or other things indelibly tied to the black experience are over.

You can’t speak on why Auntie Maxine is important if you have never had or been an Auntie Maxine. You can’t talk about why hair politics is still issue or why the rise of Fenty Beauty is so important or why Black Panther and the new live-action Lion King movie with Beyoncé as Simba matters if you don’t have the lived experience to understand the nuances of undertones and representation.

At the end of John Singleton’s 1991 movie Boyz n the Hood, Ice Cube utters what has been one of the most quotable lines in the film: “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care what’s going on in the hood.”

In 2017, the same could be said about the stories and identities of black women in journalism. Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s happening to black women in America and across the globe.

2018 is the year that this can, will, and must change.

Monique Judge is a staff writer at The Root.

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

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

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Paul Ford   Go global

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

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

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

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

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Jake Levine   The return to now

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

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

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

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Burt Herman   Things get real

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

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

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

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

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

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

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

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

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

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

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

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

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

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

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

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

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

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

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news