20200
P
1
20100
R  E
2
2070
D   I   C
3
2050
T   I   O   N
4
2040
S   F   O   R   J
5
2030
O  U  R  N  A  L
6
2020
I  S  M  2  0  2  0
7

All journalism should be service journalism

“Reporters need to think more like teachers, developing new structures and forms that reinforce new information, that place it in the context of what has come before and what may come next.”

One of the best bits of newsroom management philosophy I ever heard came not from a Peter Drucker book or a TED talk, but in a dingy community-college classroom in Queens. “You gotta remember,” the instructor told a class of newly minted cab drivers, pounding his fist to punctuate each word. “That’s a human being in the backseat — not just a piece of meat.”

That may sound obvious, but when we talk about putting the customer or reader first, we tend to do so in the abstract — failing to truly empathize with the flesh-and-blood souls who hailed us for a ride. I covered that taxi class long before there was an Uber for anything, but I sometimes wonder, had the yellow-taxi industry heeded that instructor’s advice, whether it would have fared any better against the ride-sharing revolution.

Newsrooms in 2020 must do better by the readers in the backseat. Why do people come to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, or MarketWatch in the first place? To be informed, yes, but not merely for academic edification: We all want to improve ourselves, to deepen our knowledge and understanding, to learn new skills, new ways of thinking, working and living.

If that sounds like the province of “service journalism,” so be it. The term gets a bum rap. Service journalism must no longer be marginalized as some lesser form of the enterprise: All journalism should be service journalism.

We are all drowning in a firehose of information at the expense of not only our attention spans but also true understanding. Our industry has a moral responsibility to help readers translate all that information into knowledge. Into wisdom.

The psychologist Philip Fernbach said one of the most pressing problems facing public discourse, one only exacerbated by the information age, is the growing gap between what people think they know and what they actually know. (In fact, people have been shown to mistake what they can Google for their own knowledge.) In the next stage of its evolution, journalism can help narrow that gap by giving readers the background and knowledge to truly make sense of the local, geopolitical, economic, and technological developments — and how to apply that new information to their thought and action.

The Roman poet Horace said the purpose of art is to “inform and delight.” Oscar Wilde joked that art was “all quite useless.” To avoid the latter fate, in 2020 we must reclaim the idea of “news you can use.” Reporters need to think more like teachers, developing new structures and forms that reinforce new information, that places it in the context of what has come before and what may come next. We can’t compete as just more content on everyone’s distraction devices.

That’s a human being in the backseat, not just a piece of metric.

Jeremy Olshan is editor-in-chief of MarketWatch.

One of the best bits of newsroom management philosophy I ever heard came not from a Peter Drucker book or a TED talk, but in a dingy community-college classroom in Queens. “You gotta remember,” the instructor told a class of newly minted cab drivers, pounding his fist to punctuate each word. “That’s a human being in the backseat — not just a piece of meat.”

That may sound obvious, but when we talk about putting the customer or reader first, we tend to do so in the abstract — failing to truly empathize with the flesh-and-blood souls who hailed us for a ride. I covered that taxi class long before there was an Uber for anything, but I sometimes wonder, had the yellow-taxi industry heeded that instructor’s advice, whether it would have fared any better against the ride-sharing revolution.

Newsrooms in 2020 must do better by the readers in the backseat. Why do people come to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, or MarketWatch in the first place? To be informed, yes, but not merely for academic edification: We all want to improve ourselves, to deepen our knowledge and understanding, to learn new skills, new ways of thinking, working and living.

If that sounds like the province of “service journalism,” so be it. The term gets a bum rap. Service journalism must no longer be marginalized as some lesser form of the enterprise: All journalism should be service journalism.

We are all drowning in a firehose of information at the expense of not only our attention spans but also true understanding. Our industry has a moral responsibility to help readers translate all that information into knowledge. Into wisdom.

The psychologist Philip Fernbach said one of the most pressing problems facing public discourse, one only exacerbated by the information age, is the growing gap between what people think they know and what they actually know. (In fact, people have been shown to mistake what they can Google for their own knowledge.) In the next stage of its evolution, journalism can help narrow that gap by giving readers the background and knowledge to truly make sense of the local, geopolitical, economic, and technological developments — and how to apply that new information to their thought and action.

The Roman poet Horace said the purpose of art is to “inform and delight.” Oscar Wilde joked that art was “all quite useless.” To avoid the latter fate, in 2020 we must reclaim the idea of “news you can use.” Reporters need to think more like teachers, developing new structures and forms that reinforce new information, that places it in the context of what has come before and what may come next. We can’t compete as just more content on everyone’s distraction devices.

That’s a human being in the backseat, not just a piece of metric.

Jeremy Olshan is editor-in-chief of MarketWatch.

Joanne McNeil   A return to blogs (finally? sort of?)

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Lucas Graves   A smarter conversation about how (and why) fact-checking matters

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Bill Adair   A Nobel Prize, a Brad Pitt film, and a Taylor Swift song

Juleyka Lantigua   A changing industry amps up podcasters’ ambitions

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

Joshua P. Darr   All that campaign cash will make the media’s problems worse

Linda Solomon Wood   Everyone in your organization, moving toward a common goal

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Errin Haines   Race and gender aren’t a 2020 story — they’re the story

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The business we want, not the business we had

Rachel Davis Mersey   The business of local TV news will enter its downward slide

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Kevin D. Grant   The free press stands against authoritarians’ attacks on truth

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

Cory Haik   We’re already consuming the future of news — now we have to produce it

Carrie Brown-Smith   Engaged journalism: It’s finally happening

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Rachel Glickhouse   Journalists get left behind in the industry’s decline

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Jim Brady   We’ll complain about other people living in bubbles while ignoring our own

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Jeremy Gilbert and Jarrod Dicker   A call for collaboration between storytelling and tech

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Margarita Noriega   The platforms try to figure out what to do with single-subject newsrooms

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Matt DeRienzo   Local broadcasters begin to fill the gaps left by newspapers

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Madelyn Sanfilippo and Yafit Lev-Aretz   News coverage gets geo-fragmented

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

J. Siguru Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

Nico Gendron   Make better products if you want to reach Gen Z

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, collaboration in a time of state attacks

Nicholas Jackson   What’s left of local gets comfortable with reader support

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Gordon Crovitz   Fighting misinformation requires journalism, not secret algorithms

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

M. Scott Havens   First-party data becomes media’s most important currency

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Richard Tofel   A constraint of the reader-revenue model emerges

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

A.J. Bauer   A fork in the road for conservative media

Christa Scharfenberg   It’s time to make journalism a field that supports and respects women

John Garrett   It’s the best time in a century to start a local news organization

Elizabeth Hansen and Jesse Holcomb   Local news initiatives run into a capital shortage

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Laura E. Davis   Know the context your journalism is operating within

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

Raney Aronson-Rath   News deserts will proliferate — but so will new solutions

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Mario García   Think small (screen)

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Kourtney Bitterly   Transparency isn’t just a desire, it’s an expectation

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

Millie Tran   Wicked

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Zizi Papacharissi   A president leads, the press follows, reality fades

Dannagal G. Young   Let’s disrupt the logic that’s driving Americans apart

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

Irving Washington   Leadership isn’t something you learn on the job

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Mary Walter-Brown and Tristan Loper   Power to the people (on your audience team)

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

An Xiao Mina   The Forum we wanted, the forum we got

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations