The arc of news and audience

“There’s been a reckoning in digital media, and hopefully, a recognition that the very thing we once decried as commodity journalism is also necessary journalism. Like milk and coffee and electricity, news is needed. Facts, verified, analyzed, contextualized, matter.”

We need to do news better.

I’ve been a part of at least four new ventures in my career. Each began with a certain disdain for news. Each ended (two are still around) with the realization we needed to break more news.

There’s been a reckoning in digital media, and hopefully, a recognition that the very thing we once decried as commodity journalism is also necessary journalism. Like milk and coffee and electricity, news is needed. Facts, verified, analyzed, contextualized, matter.

We also need to change how and when we’re delivering them.

This is the arc of a news story. You can plot many events of this past year on the curve: inauguration, hurricanes, awards shows, mass shootings. (Oh, 2017, where to begin?)

This is where we tend to focus our delivery of journalism.

This is the arc of audience engagement with a live news story. Notice how the growth trajectory is at odds with how and when we deliver the news, pictured above.

In 2018, we must meet their demand and bring audience into the process of reporting in real time. Some of this has already been forced upon us. Witness the coverage of #MeToo and the swift downfall of those accused; I can’t help but think back to days when we didn’t report on sexual misconduct unless a police report had been filed. Another hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) also reminds us to question the same sources that once set our news agenda.

It’s hard work to reconcile conflicting accounts in the moment, but that’s the difference between stenography and journalism. When we offer transparency into what we know, what we don’t know and how we know what we know, we gain trust. And we can certainly use more of that in 2018, too.

S. Mitra Kalita is the vice president for programming at CNN Digital.

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

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

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

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

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

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

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

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

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

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

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

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

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

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

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

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

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

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

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Paul Ford   Go global

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

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

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Dan Newman   A return to trust

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

Jake Levine   The return to now

Burt Herman   Things get real

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

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

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

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

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

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

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

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

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot