2
0
1
9

Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

“Local news organizations should become a driving force for better online public discourse, because Facebook and Twitter aren’t cutting it.”

Journalism’s public trust problem isn’t going away. As the war on truth escalates, news organizations are going to have to counterattack on multiple fronts to win back audience trust. In 2019, journalists will need to to be the aggressor in three areas.

News literacy. Journalists’ and the public’s naiveté about online information warfare has to end. News literacy in the digital age requires an understanding of how misinformers and propagandists are using our open communication networks to manipulate public opinion. News organizations and journalism educators should teach members of the public (and their own journalists) how to stop being used as pawns in the meta-game of online disinformation. Fighting back includes resisting “shiny things” and our impulse to retweet/share false, violent, or damaging speech posted on social media and in effect amplifying it.

One antidote to modern information gamesmanship is more ethics and professional reporting. Don’t repeat the lies. Call them out. Debunk rumors and untruths. Be relentless about keeping the record straight. Muzzle disinformation with context to diminish its power.

Newsroom diversity. News media organizations function best — and can be trusted most — when their newsrooms are as diverse as the communities they serve. News purveyors are not going to attract new audiences (or paying customers) if people don’t trust us to tell their stories. Disenfranchised communities often aren’t seeing themselves adequately or accurately reflected in our products. Newsroom diversity is a form of audience engagement. It is a pathway to greater trust and gaining audience share. A pipeline of talented, diverse journalists is being trained by journalism schools like mine. News organizations should make a point to tap into it.

Online discourse. Overwhelmed news organizations started giving away public dialogue to Facebook and Twitter a half dozen years ago, hoping the social media giants would be better equipped to civilize online discussions. That didn’t happen. The tone and volume of digital discourse has only grown more acrid, emotional, polarized and unequal.

What role are journalists and news organizations playing in the noxious public discourse we have online today? Are we active participants in the toxicity? Or are we uninvolved bystanders? Both stances are equally irresponsible and contribute to journalism’s public trust problem.

To rebuild trust in 2019, local news organizations should become a driving force for better online public discourse, because Facebook and Twitter aren’t cutting it. One of journalism’s democratic responsibilities is to provide reliable forums for public criticism and compromise. Local news organizations have an opportunity to be leaders in this area by aggressively convening and reporting on community conversations with representative stakeholders. Moderate discussions. Listen authentically. Champion democratic norms of informed and reasoned debate. Fight for truth.

Marie K. Shanahan is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut.

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

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

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

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

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

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

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

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

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

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

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

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

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

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

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

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

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Hearken   Pivot to people

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

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

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

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

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

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

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

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

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

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

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

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

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

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

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

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

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

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

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

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

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

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

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

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

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

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

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

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

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

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

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

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

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

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

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

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

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

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

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

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

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

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

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

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

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

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

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

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

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

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

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

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

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

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

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

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

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

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

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

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

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

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

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

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

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

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing