2
0
1
9

Say it with me: Racism

“We are not in the hint business; we are here to report facts, including the difficult facts of racism.”

While I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, here’s one I’m definitely encouraging for 2019: It’s time for all of us in journalism to pledge to not just report on racism, but to call it out.

Many of us know racism when we see it, and we’ve seen plenty of it in recent years, from the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville to white people repeatedly calling the police on black people for doing everyday activities. But we haven’t always reported it that way, and we should be asking ourselves and our colleagues why race continues to be treated like a four-letter word.

We don’t say “gender-tinged” when we mean sexist. If we’re honest, talking about race makes white Americans — including journalists — uncomfortable. We see constant proof of this in the journo-gymnastics of our headlines and ledes, with toothless phrases like “racial rhetoric,” “racially charged” or “racially tinged.” They mean little, and do even less to convey what it is that we’re actually trying to report.

But more than that: Such phrases have risen to terms of art for our profession that often feel like a wink and a nod to viewers, readers and listeners that assumes a shared set of values, putting the onus on them to figure out what we mean instead of being explicit. It’s a “both sides” approach that leaves room for doubt and dismissal.

Our avoidance of this issue — and the historical harm done as a result — has already come under scrutiny on social media and in essays. It also leaves many journalists of color, who are often less hesitant to make it plain when racism makes news, alone in the fight and pleading their case to squeamish gatekeepers.  

By not confronting racism or reducing it to matter of opinion on an individual or systemic level in our journalism — the first draft of history — we leave a less accurate record for those who come behind us. We are not in the hint business; we are here to report facts, including the difficult facts of racism.

There will be much more to report in the coming year. As race intersects with every aspect of our society, from sports to politics to education, journalists must have their own reckoning around talking about race.

In an era that has seen a resurgence in racial polarization, retreat cannot be the response. We must resolve to do better, and make this a resolution that actually sticks.

Errin Haines Whack is The Associated Press’ national writer on race and ethnicity.

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

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

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

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

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

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

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

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

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

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

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

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

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

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

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

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

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

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

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

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

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

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

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

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

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

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

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

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

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

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

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Hearken   Pivot to people

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

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

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

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

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

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

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

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

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

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

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

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

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

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

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

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

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

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

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

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

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

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

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

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

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

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

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

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

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

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

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

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

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

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

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

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

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

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

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

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

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

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

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

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

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

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

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

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