Working together toward sustainable solutions

“I think people want to be effective news consumers, and they’ll take on the responsibility to become highly media literate. People don’t like being conned or lied to, but to a great extent, that’s what’s happened over the last year, particularly by disreputable sources that were amplified on social media.”

It’ll be no great surprise to read that the rapid democratization of mobile and online technology has significantly changed how information is shared and interpreted. Today, almost anyone with a phone can voice their opinion online, making it harder to know what’s accurate. When anyone can be a source, and everyone has a point of view, how do we know what’s true?

If 2017 focused on raising awareness of phony news and media manipulation, I predict that 2018 will be the year of solutions from news organizations, tech platforms, and consumers.

News organizations have been given a clear call-to-action to reaffirm the value of news to their readers. Journalism’s code of ethics needs to be updated to match the realities of today’s landscape. The 24-hour news cycle and real-time digital dissemination increase pressure on reporters and editors to get news right within shorter editorial deadlines. How news organizations respond will directly affect whether they remain relevant. Their business model — and our democracy — depend on it.

Next come the tech platforms that have played a big role in inadvertently spreading misinformation. They’ll be a major player next year as congressional scrutiny widens and more information is revealed about how platform distribution affected the 2016 presidential election. As an engineer and a proponent of new technology, I will be the first to say that the scale of media manipulation, which came to light last year, was a huge surprise, and engineers have been working hard to come up with maintainable solutions. Initial steps have been taken in 2017, and I predict that we’ll see bigger, more sustainable solutions toward removing bad actors.

Lastly, I predict that 2018 may be the year in which readers use the power of their hive-mind to ask tough questions and hold reporters’ feet to the fire, acting as an essential stress test for good journalism. This starts with understanding how to identify credible news sources. I think people want to be effective news consumers, and they’ll take on the responsibility to become highly media literate. People don’t like being conned or lied to, but to a great extent, that’s what’s happened over the last year, particularly by disreputable sources that were amplified on social media.

Media education will spread, and as purveyors of phony news continue to be exposed, more people will learn how to recognize the markers that distinguish between real and fake reporting. Once credibility is established, the next step will be for readers to differentiate between the types of media that they’re absorbing. Educated consumers will discern a news story from an opinion piece and from an advertisement. They’ll also recognize satire when they see it. With these skills available to them, readers will be equipped to understand the difference between good and bad journalism.

The good news is that we raised awareness of the misinformation issue over this past year and started the hard task of fixing it. Looking to 2018, we’ll need to build on this work to create truly sustainable solutions. The responsibility is with all of us.

Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

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

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

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

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

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

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Paul Ford   Go global

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

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

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

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

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

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Jake Levine   The return to now

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

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

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

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

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Burt Herman   Things get real

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

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

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

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

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

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

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

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

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

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

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

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

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

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

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

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy