2
0
1
9

Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

“Podcasting’s ‘bugs’ — difficult to scan, share, comment on — are actually its features.”

As legacy and new digital publishers in the wider world seek to wean their business models from an overreliance on advertising, social platforms, and costly video, the turn is toward developing direct revenue from audiences — subscriptions, paywalls, crowdfunding, memberships, and Rorschach-like blockchain experiments.

It’s pleasantly ironic that some of the internet’s oldest open protocols are shining through, with email newsletters and podcasting standing tall after the fallout of the Lumascape’s decade of hyper-intermediation.

Against a backdrop of media malaise, podcasting offers hope for a healthy ecosystem that treats listeners with respect, gives publishers a direct relationship with audiences, and gives voice to new talent and communities long missing from the airwaves. Podcasting is the slow food movement of the media world.

Podcasting’s “bugs” — difficult to scan, share, comment on — are actually its features. With Facebook and YouTube’s ceaseless sneezing, publishers are very much in need of podcasting’s antiviral cure.

In 2019 podcasting will enter year five of its renaissance, still expanding from the big bang of 2014 (the year that launched Serial, Gimlet, Radiotopia, Panoply, and Apple’s first standalone podcast app). The stakes have gotten higher, the big players have taken notice, and the influx of publishers of all shapes and sizes puts pressure on a podcast economy that still lags in terms of monetization and marketing muscle.

In 2019 we’ll see bolder attempts to carve up the still-baking podcast pie into more profitable paywalled pieces, but I predict unsatisfying results until Apple decides to make its own. The fact is that most people still don’t get podcasting, never mind pay for it, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

However, a pivot to podcasting gives publishers something existentially powerful: a channel they own and control, literally giving voice to their brands, stories, and the journalists behind the bylines. Podcasting may not yet be a moneymaker for many, but it’s a meaning-maker for most. In an overabundant media world, trust is the scarce resource. So when your strategy calls for deepening engagement, forging relationships that are not easily swiped away, podcasting is a sound investment.

Jake Shapiro is cofounder and CEO of RadioPublic.

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Hearken   Pivot to people

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

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

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

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

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

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

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

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

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

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

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

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

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

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

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

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

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

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

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

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

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

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

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

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

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

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

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

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

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

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

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

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

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

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

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

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

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

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

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

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

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

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

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

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

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

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

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

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

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

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

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

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

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

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

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

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

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

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

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

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

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

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

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

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

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

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

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

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

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

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

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

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

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

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

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

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

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

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is