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The year of loyalty

“Gone are the days of aggregation by small and medium-sized brands. Gone are the days of chasing traffic. Gone are the days of one-size-fits all splashy marketing campaigns.”

Loyalty goes two ways for news organizations. Readers show them loyalty, but increasingly news organizations are learning how important it is to be loyal to their readers. In the next year, the most successful media companies will be the ones that focus on readers who are core to their audience and reward them for their readership.

Gone are the days of aggregation by small and medium-sized brands. Gone are the days of chasing traffic. Gone are the days of one-size-fits all splashy marketing campaigns. Today we are learning how to build targeted relationships with readers. That means finding new ways to reach them — and to keep them coming back.

At Stat, a site devoted to health, medicine and science, we are relentlessly focused on our audience. We publish both free content and paywalled content. For subscribers, we offer exclusive content and access to webinars and events, among other benefits.

But regardless we are determined to make sure readers know we are delivering them value. Every day, we’re thinking not only of what stories to write but a more fundamental question: are readers getting their money’s worth? Every day, we’re thinking of ways to remind readers of the value we’re giving them — not only through the journalism itself but through targeted emails.

Just as critical in attracting a loyal subscriber base is keeping our existing ones loyal. We pride ourselves on doing whatever we can to keep cancellations to a minimum.

The encouraging news is that quality watchdog journalism is fundamental to building loyalty. One running story that has brought Stat more subscribers than we imagined has been our pieces about how the Watson supercomputer wasn’t living up to the lofty expectations that IBM created for its health initiative. Not a story that people need to know for a specific business purpose, but wanted to pay for because of the larger issues it raises about new technology — and hype.

As we all look for sustainable journalism models, we’re finding a solution in our efforts to deliver quality content and build subscriber bases, and I think we’ll see that even more in 2019.

Rick Berke is the executive editor of Stat.

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

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

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

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

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

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

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

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

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

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

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

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

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

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

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

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

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

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

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

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

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

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

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

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

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

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

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

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

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

Hearken   Pivot to people

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

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

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

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

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

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

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

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

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

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

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

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

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

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

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

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

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

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

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

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

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

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

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

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

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

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

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

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

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

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

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

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

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

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

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

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

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

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

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

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

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

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

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

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

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

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

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

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

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

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

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

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

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

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

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

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

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

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

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist