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

From broadcast to bespoke

“While this move to ‘bespoke’ gives journalism organizations powerful ways to delight listeners and readers, it means we have to find new ways to create shared understandings and a common set of facts.”

A decade ago, I discovered the word “bespoke” at a meeting in London with the BBC. Until then, that word for “custom-made” wasn’t part of my vocabulary; now it routinely shows up in my presentations and slides. Newsrooms have morphed from a single print edition that was delivered all across town to personalized homepages and even bot-assembled customized articles. And now radio is at the moment where our past as broadcasters is giving way to our future as providers of bespoke listening experiences.

For decades, public radio has broadcast one thing to many people out over the airwaves at the same moment in time. Slowly but surely, that’s been changing. Podcasts allow us to reach subsets of our audience with the topic or talent they are most interested in hearing — whenever they want to listen, freeing listeners from our broadcast clocks.

But the podcast revolution was just the beginning of the transition. Smart speakers and other emerging technologies are ushering in a world where traditional broadcasters are creating audio experiences that are tailor-made for the person listening.

The BBC offers an interactive newscast that can expand and contract to let listeners dive deep into details under each audio headline. This approach means each listener gets a newscast customized to the depth they desire, depending on their level of interest in each story.

NPR, where I work, is using the NPR One systems to create personalized flows of audio content on apps and smart speakers. The content a listener hears is customized and localized depending on when that listener listens, where they live, what they’ve heard before, and how they’ve interacted with our content in the past. Broadcasters across Europe are also working on similar initiatives to create listening experiences that are more handcrafted for the modern listener on the platforms of today.

Pandora and Spotify have taken a competitive bite out of music radio by creating more personalized experiences based on listeners’ tastes in music. Now, Google with its News Assistant and Spotify with Your Daily Drive are looking to nibble into our news and talk formats by applying similar concepts to the spoken word.

While this move to “bespoke” gives journalism organizations powerful ways to delight listeners and readers, it means we have to find new ways to create shared understandings and a common set of facts. It’s one thing for people to adorn themselves with the luxury of a bespoke suit. It is another if our basic understanding of the world is stratified by personalization into information haves with their bespoke news and have-nots with their mass market news. Hopefully, this will be the year we hold ourselves accountable for creating the audience-centered news experiences our listeners and readers want — while still providing all of American society the knowledge and understanding that is needed for our democracy to function.

Tamar Charney is the managing editor of NPR One.

A decade ago, I discovered the word “bespoke” at a meeting in London with the BBC. Until then, that word for “custom-made” wasn’t part of my vocabulary; now it routinely shows up in my presentations and slides. Newsrooms have morphed from a single print edition that was delivered all across town to personalized homepages and even bot-assembled customized articles. And now radio is at the moment where our past as broadcasters is giving way to our future as providers of bespoke listening experiences.

For decades, public radio has broadcast one thing to many people out over the airwaves at the same moment in time. Slowly but surely, that’s been changing. Podcasts allow us to reach subsets of our audience with the topic or talent they are most interested in hearing — whenever they want to listen, freeing listeners from our broadcast clocks.

But the podcast revolution was just the beginning of the transition. Smart speakers and other emerging technologies are ushering in a world where traditional broadcasters are creating audio experiences that are tailor-made for the person listening.

The BBC offers an interactive newscast that can expand and contract to let listeners dive deep into details under each audio headline. This approach means each listener gets a newscast customized to the depth they desire, depending on their level of interest in each story.

NPR, where I work, is using the NPR One systems to create personalized flows of audio content on apps and smart speakers. The content a listener hears is customized and localized depending on when that listener listens, where they live, what they’ve heard before, and how they’ve interacted with our content in the past. Broadcasters across Europe are also working on similar initiatives to create listening experiences that are more handcrafted for the modern listener on the platforms of today.

Pandora and Spotify have taken a competitive bite out of music radio by creating more personalized experiences based on listeners’ tastes in music. Now, Google with its News Assistant and Spotify with Your Daily Drive are looking to nibble into our news and talk formats by applying similar concepts to the spoken word.

While this move to “bespoke” gives journalism organizations powerful ways to delight listeners and readers, it means we have to find new ways to create shared understandings and a common set of facts. It’s one thing for people to adorn themselves with the luxury of a bespoke suit. It is another if our basic understanding of the world is stratified by personalization into information haves with their bespoke news and have-nots with their mass market news. Hopefully, this will be the year we hold ourselves accountable for creating the audience-centered news experiences our listeners and readers want — while still providing all of American society the knowledge and understanding that is needed for our democracy to function.

Tamar Charney is the managing editor of NPR One.

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

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

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

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

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

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   A changing industry amps up podcasters’ ambitions

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

Richard J. Tofel   A constraint of the reader-revenue model emerges

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

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

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

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

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

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

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

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

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

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

Millie Tran   Wicked

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

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

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

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

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

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

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

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

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

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

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

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

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

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

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

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

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

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Nikki Usher   All systems down

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

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

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

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

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

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

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

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

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

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

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

L. Gordon Crovitz   Fighting misinformation requires journalism, not secret algorithms

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

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

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

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

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

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

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

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

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

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

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

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Mario García   Think small (screen)

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

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

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention