2
0
1
9

A year of uncertainty and confidence

“We’ll all grasp that a 15 percent chance of something happening isn’t 0 percent, as any seasoned Dungeons & Dragons fan can tell you. It’s roughly the equivalent of rolling a 1 — or any other single number — on a six-sided die.”

2019 will be the year when both journalists and their audiences will finally understand that most numbers we see in the media aren’t precise, but often come surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of uncertainty. We’ll all accept that this is just the way the world works. We may even come up with good ways to visualize this cloud.

In 2019, readers won’t feel anxious when seeing a needle that swings based on random jittering. Also, journalists will stop reporting tiny variations of indicators that aren’t very accurate to begin with without putting them in their historical context.

In 2019, we’ll all grasp that a 15 percent chance of something happening isn’t 0 percent, as any seasoned Dungeons & Dragons fan can tell you. It’s roughly the equivalent of rolling a 1 — or any other single number — on a six-sided die. A 30 percent chance is the chance of scoring 5 or 6 when rolling for damage with a short sword, enough to kill a goblin before it strikes back.

In 2019, most people will finally be able to read the National Hurricane Center’s cone of uncertainty as a range of possible paths of the center of a storm, and not as an area under threat.

In 2019, opinion editors will chastise columnists who still think that “error” in statistics is synonymous with “mistake,” or that the fact that all forecast models are uncertain means that all models are wrong. These editors will grasp that statistical uncertainty is always connected to a confidence level, and that the fact that many independent and uncertain models point in a similar direction should increase the confidence we have in them.

In 2019, we’ll all learn to be less certain about our beliefs. We may even pay attention to cognitive psychologists who explain that the best way to become aware of our knowledge gaps is to try to explain our opinions to others without taking logical leaps or relying on arguments from authority. We’ll be humbled by our many failures at these attempts.

Needless to say, I don’t have full confidence in any of these predictions, but I do hope they’ll become true.

Alberto Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami.

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

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

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

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

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

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Hearken   Pivot to people

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

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

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

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

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

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

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

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

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

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

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

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

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

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

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

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

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

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

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

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

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

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

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

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

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

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

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

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

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

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

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

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

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

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

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

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

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

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

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

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

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

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

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

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

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

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

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

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

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

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

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

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

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

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

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

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

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

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

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

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

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

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

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

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

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

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

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

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

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

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

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

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

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

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

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

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

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

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

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