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The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

“It’s not that those in charge now don’t know there are problems. It’s that they too often respond with versions of ‘Yes, but we can’t fix it,’ ‘Yes, but it takes time to fix it’ — or worse, a denial that it’s their problem to fix in the first place.”

We know that our news environment is broken — because it doesn’t represent us, because it proliferates falsehoods, because it devalues those who want to change how we do things. We also know that there are people doing amazing and vital work to uncover truths and tell the stories that help us understand ourselves and the people around us.

The gap between those talented people and systems that should support their work is huge. We need strong leaders to bridge it. I believe that 2019 will be the year that those leaders step up and are given the resources they deserve.

It’s not that those in charge now don’t know there are problems. It’s that they too often respond with versions of “Yes, but we can’t fix it,” “Yes, but it takes time to fix it” — or worse, a denial that it’s their problem to fix in the first place.

So it’s time for leaders with vision to take the reins — from budgets to hiring to key editorial decision-making.

Two things to clarify here: First, this leadership is vital for both the health of our society and the health of our industry. It’s a business imperative — not that that should be the primary case for doing the work needed to create diverse newsrooms.

And second, leadership doesn’t necessarily mean the executive editor or editor-in-chief. It’s the person in the newsroom who controls or affects the way the group responds to internal and external critiques. It’s the one who decides which freelancers to work with and which to pass on. Leadership is especially crucial when day-to-day decisions are made about which stories to cover and how.

Many of us who’ve worked in newsrooms intuitively know what that means. You’re reading or listening to a story in which is a source is labeled by their race or religion as a shorthand — but only if they’re not white — and there was no one in the editing process who might have noticed. Or you’re talking about a story with your team and one person — often a minority in the group in some way — raises a red flag. At that point, the editorial discussion becomes really interesting and the story gets better — or, too often, a leader in the room shuts things down or brushes off the concern. Or you’re talking to an executive because of your concerns about the editorial structure, and they might nod or they might disagree. But they definitely do not take action.

The leaders who step up in 2019 will make decisions on the daily that bring inclusion, that will change the way resources are spent and will improve the news that we all get. They’ll make mistakes and be humble, but they’ll have vision and the will to change.

Like others who write these predictions, perhaps mine is more of a hope. But it’s time. It’s 2019.

Angilee Shah is an independent journalist and editor.

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

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

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

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

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

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

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

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

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

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

Hearken   Pivot to people

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

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

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

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

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

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

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

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

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

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

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

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

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

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

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

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

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

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

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

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

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

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

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

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

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

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

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

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

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

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

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

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

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

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

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

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

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

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

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

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

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

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

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

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

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

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

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

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

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

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

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

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

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

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

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

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

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

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

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

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

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

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

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

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

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

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

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

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

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

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

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter