2
0
1
9

The rise of content “pilots”

“In today’s mobile-driven environment, we need to concentrate on stories and follow them during the course of a news cycle.”

We will continue to see the accelerated tempo of transformation in newsrooms across the world in 2019.

Already, few editors and journalists question the importance of mobile devices, where large numbers of readers are consuming news and information. When I start my workshops in newsrooms globally, I begin by asking the question: How many of your subscribers are now reading your content on the smallest of platforms — the phone? Across four continents the number usually ranges from 65 to 85 percent. Indeed, this is significant and an eye opener when it comes to how editors should transform their newsrooms to become mobile first operations.

Enter the “content manager.”

Such transformation requires the presence of a content manager in the newsroom at all times. What is the role of the content manager? In my view, the content manager is a traffic cop who owns stories and decides how they will be played up from start to finish: Do we begin with a push notification? What are the social media components for promoting the story? How about updates? Finally, in a modern newsroom, the story will be workshopped across platforms, including print. But not all stories need to have a print component.

I characterize stories as having short or long legs. Stories with long legs may have a print component, and not necessarily the same day in which they appear online.

More importantly, and this will be key to success of publications in 2019, it is the content manager who works with reporters and editors to explore the linear, mobile, visual storytelling potential of stories. We read stories on mobile devices differently from how we read a story published for print (this was the subject of my prediction for 2018 and we have seen a rise in the number of stories that are now told in a linear style). When a story is presented in a linear manner, the text narrative and the visual images appear in a continuum, exactly the way we communicate when text messaging. We read and we see.

Content managers may have different names, such as assignment editor, or even “pilots,” a preferred term with German and Scandinavian editors. Regardless of what the name is, the function is one of identifying content early in the process, working with small teams to manage the story throughout the day and making sure that stories are updated regularly if applicable.

With the rise of the content manager comes a concept that I also believe will be quite popular in 2019: the idea of workshopping stories and not concentrating on editions. Traditional editors and journalists are trained to work on editions that have a closing moment — as in tomorrow’s newspaper, or this afternoon’s news broadcast. In today’s mobile-driven environment, we need to concentrate on stories and follow them during the course of a news cycle. There is no planning of an edition as such. Content managers manage three to five stories at a time, which is the reason that a newsroom needs to train as many content managers as possible.

Without a doubt, the content manager will be the person to hire, to train and to give authority in the newsroom for 2019 and beyond. It will be difficult to claim that a newsroom is in the process of transformation without this key person changing the way content is selected and presented in a multi-platform news environment.

Mario García is CEO of García Media and senior adviser on news design and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

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

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

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

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

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

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

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

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

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

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

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

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

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

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

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

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

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

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

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

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

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

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

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

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

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

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

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

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

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

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

Joshua P. Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

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

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

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

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

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

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

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

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

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

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

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

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

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

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

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

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

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

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

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

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

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Juleyka Lantigua   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

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

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

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

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

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

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

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

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

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

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

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

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

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

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

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

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

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

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

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

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

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

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

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

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

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

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

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

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

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

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

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

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

Hearken   Pivot to people