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2020
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It’s the best time in a century to start a local news organization

“Most legacy executives have to embrace survival strategies — which leaves an opportunity of a lifetime for the risk-taker to take.”

We’ll all read about the impending doom of many of the publicly traded news organizations. To me, the really interesting thing to watch will be down below the surface. It’ll be hard to see all at once, but even with all of the fear, greed, and loss in our industry, something beautiful is happening to the news ecosystem.

It’s the best time in a century to start a local news organization. Most legacy executives have to embrace survival strategies — which leaves an opportunity of a lifetime for the risk-taker to take. There will be plenty of variables of structure and approach, but 2020 will be a tipping-point year for this new age of journalism ownership and stewardship.

We won’t hear about most of these startups. They’ll grind behind the scenes in communities everywhere. There’s just too much talent out there and too many opportunities to quell the rising of this new era of the news entrepreneur. In 2020, these new leaders will build their plans, gather their teams, and get to work — launching hundreds of new sources of local news. It’s going to be awesome.

We’ll all read about the impending doom of many of the publicly traded news organizations. To me, the really interesting thing to watch will be down below the surface. It’ll be hard to see all at once, but even with all of the fear, greed, and loss in our industry, something beautiful is happening to the news ecosystem.

It’s the best time in a century to start a local news organization. Most legacy executives have to embrace survival strategies — which leaves an opportunity of a lifetime for the risk-taker to take. There will be plenty of variables of structure and approach, but 2020 will be a tipping-point year for this new age of journalism ownership and stewardship.

We won’t hear about most of these startups. They’ll grind behind the scenes in communities everywhere. There’s just too much talent out there and too many opportunities to quell the rising of this new era of the news entrepreneur. In 2020, these new leaders will build their plans, gather their teams, and get to work — launching hundreds of new sources of local news. It’s going to be awesome.

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

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

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

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

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

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

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

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

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

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

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

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

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

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

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

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

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

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

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

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

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

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

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

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

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

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

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

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

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

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

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

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

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

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

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

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

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

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

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

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

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

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

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

Mario García   Think small (screen)

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

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

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

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

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

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

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

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

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

Millie Tran   Wicked

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

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

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

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