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.

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

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

Juleyka Lantigua   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Jake Levine   The return to now

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

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

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

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

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

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

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

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

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

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

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

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

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

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Dan Newman   A return to trust

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

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

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

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

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Richard Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Paul Ford   Go global

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

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

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

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

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Burt Herman   Things get real

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

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

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

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

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

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

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice