2
0
1
9

Engaging people across lines of difference

“I see journalists actively engaging societal divides as a trend poised to take off, whether it’s rural/urban differences, political divisiveness, or any of the multitude of other cleavages facing society.”

A core component of the journalistic enterprise is helping people understand what they cannot directly experience: decision-making in Congress, fighting a war overseas, discovering the outer bounds of the solar system, you name it. Reading about NASA’s Mars InSight lander isn’t the only way to feel like you’re on another planet, though. The polarization that characterizes our society can make those on the other side of an issue seem just as distant.

I think journalism is helping to change this.

In the year to come, I see journalists actively engaging societal divides as a trend poised to take off, whether it’s rural/urban differences, political divisiveness, or any of the multitude of other cleavages facing society. Journalism has an opportunity to provide an incredible service. I think we should be asking: How can journalism help us understand those who voted differently? Those who practice a different religion? Those who live just 30 minutes away?

In some ways these are old questions, but the new ways in which journalists are pursing this work are what’s truly noteworthy. KUOW, for example, hosted speed-dating-style forums for interested participants to meet people who they might not otherwise (e.g., “Ask a Muslim”). Spaceship Media and their collaborators set up Facebook groups allowing those with diverse views on topics like guns and immigration to interact. In our review of these efforts, we identified 25 stellar examples of newsrooms doing exactly this work. And I think that we’ve only scratched the surface of what journalism could do.

As news organizations look for ways to build community trust, engaging people across lines of difference strikes me as a promising approach. There will be holdouts, to be sure. Engagement efforts take resources and they do not have the reach of traditional journalism. But, they can pay dividends and their effects can be extended through coverage.

As 2019 undoubtedly brings new types of misinformation, attempts to further polarize the public, and new economic challenges, I see newsrooms as helping to light bridges across divides.

Talia Stroud is director of the Center for Media Engagement and associate professor of communication studies and journalism at the University of Texas.

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

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

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

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

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

J. Siguru Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Hearken   Pivot to people

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

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

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

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

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

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

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

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

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

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

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

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

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

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

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

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

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

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

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

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

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

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

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

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Joshua P. Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

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

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

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

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

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

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

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

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

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

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

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

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

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

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Juleyka Lantigua   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

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

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

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

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

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

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

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

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

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

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

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

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

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

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

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

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

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

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

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

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

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

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

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

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

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

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

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

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

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

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

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

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

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

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

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration