2
0
1
9

Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

“The Canadian example will become a negative one, cited regularly by those arguing that governments should stay out of the news business and let the chips fall where they may.”

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigns for re-election, his 2018 decision to bail out Canada’s faltering newspaper industry will poison the relationship between newsreaders and journalists. Any piece of favorable, or even neutral coverage of him will be seized upon by adversaries as evidence that the Liberal government has successfully bribed Canada’s professional reporters, who have already been dubbed #JustinJournos since news of the media subsidy broke. The indignant responses from those reporters at the very notion that they could be influenced by Trudeau’s lifeline will further estrange them from the public they serve.

A barrage of attacks on media credibility will result in permanent defensiveness and self-censorship on the part of journalists, and a steady erosion of public confidence in establishment news organizations, regardless of whether or not most newsreaders believe that the press has in fact been bought off.

The effect will be twofold: It will expedite the migration of conservative newsreaders to extremist misinformation sites, and it will nudge middlebrow audiences away from Canadian news and towards increasingly popular American and British coverage of Canada. Ironically, this will conjure into reality the very scenario that the news subsidies were designed to prevent: Homegrown mainstream news media will lose stature and influence and Canadians will increasingly be getting their information from foreign sources and a myriad of special interests of dubious origin, disguised as “news.” And while the bailout will succeed in preventing previously failing newspapers from going under, it’s unlikely any will grow or improve while on welfare, and their enduring presence will largely have a negative impact on the news ecosystem, blocking news startups and keeping professional reporting talent off the market. The Canadian example will become a negative one, cited regularly by those arguing that governments should stay out of the news business and let the chips fall where they may.

Jesse Brown is the publisher of Canadaland.

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Elisabeth Goodridge   Yes, they signed up — but our job’s not over

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Seth C. Lewis   The gap between journalism and research is too wide

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Robin Kwong   Tech shouldn’t be the only field pollinating “news nerds”

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Matt Waite   “I went to Node.js because I wished to live deliberately”

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Alyssa Zeisler   We expand what (and how and who) we serve

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Local news isn’t where you thought it was

Matt Karolian   Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Kevin D. Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Hearken   Pivot to people

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Hossein Derakhshan   The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust