2
0
1
9

Local news isn’t where you thought it was

“Local news is fluid and not fixed.”

Local news will be the key driver for the future of news and journalism in 2019. As 2018 highlighted many issues and challenges with local news coverage, at the same time, several new efforts and resources were also announced to help make local news better.

In 2019, journalists will be challenged to think differently about what local means. Does local mean the neighborhood, a specific set of blocks in an area, or is it a specific community center where people gather? For a news citizen, local can represent any one of these spaces. Local news is embedded in these places and spaces where news citizens live, work and play. The key factor here is recognizing that local news is fluid and not fixed.

Context, space and place make a difference in how one interacts with the world around them, specifically with local news. In my research, I’ve conducted multiple online surveys with news consumers. They want local news and want it within the context of where they are in those moments — where they live, work and play.

In 2019, journalists will dive deeper into understanding what it means to be local. Reporters will set up new routines to listen to what is happening around them in their communities and where the moments with meaning are happening. In turn, they will have a better sense of what shapes a community and the deeper nuances of local news.

As mobile technology continues to advance along with the developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality, the expectation is building among news citizens that they will get information and context in whatever situation, place, or space they are in. It’s already happening with the adoption of smart speakers in homes and vehicles, as well as the rise of geo-located mobile notifications. What does this mean for local news? It means that news consumers are beginning to expect news happening near and around them in the spaces and places where they work, live, and play.

In 2019, this local news development will not be driven by any one type of news organization, but rather by specific journalists who take the risk to jump into this different mindset of thinking about local. The journalists who embark on this journey will recognize that storytelling and news production can be done differently, that engaging and connecting with the community can be achieved, and that creating a long-term news audience is possible.

Amy Schmitz Weiss is an associate professor of journalism at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University.

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

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

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

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

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

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

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

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

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

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

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

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

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Hearken   Pivot to people

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

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

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

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

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

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

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

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

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

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

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

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

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

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

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

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

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

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

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

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

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

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

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

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

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

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

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

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

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

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

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

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

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

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

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

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

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

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

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

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

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

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

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

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

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

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

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

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

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

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

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

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

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

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

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

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

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

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

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

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

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

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

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

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

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

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

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments