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.

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

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

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

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

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Jake Levine   The return to now

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Burt Herman   Things get real

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

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

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

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

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

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

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

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

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

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

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

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

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

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

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

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

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

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

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

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

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

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

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

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

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Paul Ford   Go global

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more