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.

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

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

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

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

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

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

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

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

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

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

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

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

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

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

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

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

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

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

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

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

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

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

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

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

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

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

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

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

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

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

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

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

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

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

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

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

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

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

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

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

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

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

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

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

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

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

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

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

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

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

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

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

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

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

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

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Hearken   Pivot to people

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

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

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

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

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

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

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

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

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

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

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

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

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

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

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

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

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

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

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

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

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

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

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

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

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

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

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

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

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

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

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

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape