2
0
1
9

AI finally becomes helpful

“More achievable projects — like feeding reporters story tips, automated tracking of data to uncover fraud, and scripts to keep published stories up-to-date — can make work easier for journalists.”

Long championed as a transformational force that will disrupt everything, artificial intelligence has most consistently disrupted hypers — and not much else.

A few newsrooms use systems like Heliograf, The Washington Post’s tool for crafting machine-generated stories. Heliograf helps cover stories that otherwise had too small an audience to warrant coverage — like every individual House race in the 2018 midterm or sporting events. Machine-generated stories free up human reporters to do the stories only humans can, but they haven’t reached a wide enough scale to change the way most newsrooms’ approach coverage.

Even that level of machine-generated stories has been beyond the ability of most newsrooms and too complicated for most individual journalists. Journalists like John Keefe’s Quartz AI Studio and the work done at the Post by the Arc team seek to democratize the use of AI. More achievable projects — like feeding reporters story tips, automated tracking of data to uncover fraud, and scripts to keep published stories up-to-date — can make work easier for journalists.

Until now, AI was primarily limited to article recommendations and simple stories, but 2019 will finally see the widespread adoption of useful AI — and not just in large newsrooms like the Post. AI that helps our audience by adding contextual background information and aids journalists with story composition will be everywhere, allowing AI to finally fulfill its potential in media.

The promise of AI will be realized once non-technical reporters and editors benefit from AI in their existing jobs — whether they know AI helped or not. In 2019, we’ll see the beginning of that transformation.

Jeremy Gilbert is director of strategic initiatives at The Washington Post.

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

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

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

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

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

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

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

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

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

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

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

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

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

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

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

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

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

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

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

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

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

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

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

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

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

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Joshua P. Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

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

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

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

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

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

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

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

Hearken   Pivot to people

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

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

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

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

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

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

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

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

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

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

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

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

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

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

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

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

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

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

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

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

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

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

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

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

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

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

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

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

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

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Juleyka Lantigua   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

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

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

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

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

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

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

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

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

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

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

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

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

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

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

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

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

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

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

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”