20200
P
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20100
R  E
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2070
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2020
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7

Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

“Once a dirty word, collaboration is now openly embraced by news outlets where it provides value.”

This moment is the epitome of uncertainty. Like many such moments of transition — when a phase change is possible — the political and media environment is highly energized, and it’s difficult if not impossible to discern exactly what the future holds. Many of us see mixed signals, where hopes for a rebirth of journalism exist side by side with seemingly unsurmountable challenges.

The context into which journalists will publish their journalism in the United States in 2020 will be extremely challenging. The truths they seek to impart to the public will be swept into a roiling ocean of information on social media platforms conducive to propaganda and falsehoods, polluted and disrupted by others seeking partisan advantage through fair means and foul.

Journalists will face a vicious cycle. Public critiques of accurate news that don’t fit audience members’ political views run headlong into politicians who exacerbate distrust by leaning into conspiracy theories and ignoring facts. Yet reporters’ work is ever more important. Their stories must truly hold the powerful accountable — whether monopolistic companies or politicians inclined towards autocracy.

That said, nothing is set; moments of transition are pregnant with possibility. Outcomes we may fear — where journalism is overwhelmed — are no less possible than those where journalism emerges newly vibrant and powerful.

The groundwork is being laid. The journalists of 2020 are newly prepared. They’re exploring approaches that involve and energize readers and ensure the topics they cover reflect reader priorities. The engaged elections movement — which reorients election coverage around the curiosity and concerns of communities — is marking the way.

Curiously, while the economic weakness of commercial outlets is undesirable, it allows the fast-growing nonprofit news sector to increasingly reflect the makeup of the American public. Projects such as the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund — alongside a renewed commitment to equity and inclusion in newsrooms — could transform the field.

Once a dirty word, collaboration is now openly embraced by news outlets where it provides value. Electionland in 2016 and 2018 involved many. State-based efforts such as Votingbloc in New Jersey will likely be replicated across other states. First Draft News, which seeks to address misinformation head on, is at its core a collaboration. Initially global, the project is now forging new relationships at the local level in the United States. Many other collaborations are being documented by the Center for Cooperative Media.

Younger journalists are ever more ready to leverage capabilities that marry data, audio, and video, and they are keen to take on the challenge of truth-telling.

It’s unclear how these new outlets and their journalists will navigate what feels akin to the storm of the century. However, I have hopes that the rising reader-engaged, disaggregated, collaborative ecosystem of reporters and newish outlets will benefit from this moment. Ideally, they’ll draw from it a newly sharpened mission and related support. Doing so will help us all undertake the hard work in years ahead of developing policies to support new forms and institutions of public interest media that can meet and master our rocky media seas.

Tom Glaisyer is managing director of the Public Square Program of the Democracy Fund.

This moment is the epitome of uncertainty. Like many such moments of transition — when a phase change is possible — the political and media environment is highly energized, and it’s difficult if not impossible to discern exactly what the future holds. Many of us see mixed signals, where hopes for a rebirth of journalism exist side by side with seemingly unsurmountable challenges.

The context into which journalists will publish their journalism in the United States in 2020 will be extremely challenging. The truths they seek to impart to the public will be swept into a roiling ocean of information on social media platforms conducive to propaganda and falsehoods, polluted and disrupted by others seeking partisan advantage through fair means and foul.

Journalists will face a vicious cycle. Public critiques of accurate news that don’t fit audience members’ political views run headlong into politicians who exacerbate distrust by leaning into conspiracy theories and ignoring facts. Yet reporters’ work is ever more important. Their stories must truly hold the powerful accountable — whether monopolistic companies or politicians inclined towards autocracy.

That said, nothing is set; moments of transition are pregnant with possibility. Outcomes we may fear — where journalism is overwhelmed — are no less possible than those where journalism emerges newly vibrant and powerful.

The groundwork is being laid. The journalists of 2020 are newly prepared. They’re exploring approaches that involve and energize readers and ensure the topics they cover reflect reader priorities. The engaged elections movement — which reorients election coverage around the curiosity and concerns of communities — is marking the way.

Curiously, while the economic weakness of commercial outlets is undesirable, it allows the fast-growing nonprofit news sector to increasingly reflect the makeup of the American public. Projects such as the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund — alongside a renewed commitment to equity and inclusion in newsrooms — could transform the field.

Once a dirty word, collaboration is now openly embraced by news outlets where it provides value. Electionland in 2016 and 2018 involved many. State-based efforts such as Votingbloc in New Jersey will likely be replicated across other states. First Draft News, which seeks to address misinformation head on, is at its core a collaboration. Initially global, the project is now forging new relationships at the local level in the United States. Many other collaborations are being documented by the Center for Cooperative Media.

Younger journalists are ever more ready to leverage capabilities that marry data, audio, and video, and they are keen to take on the challenge of truth-telling.

It’s unclear how these new outlets and their journalists will navigate what feels akin to the storm of the century. However, I have hopes that the rising reader-engaged, disaggregated, collaborative ecosystem of reporters and newish outlets will benefit from this moment. Ideally, they’ll draw from it a newly sharpened mission and related support. Doing so will help us all undertake the hard work in years ahead of developing policies to support new forms and institutions of public interest media that can meet and master our rocky media seas.

Tom Glaisyer is managing director of the Public Square Program of the Democracy Fund.

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

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

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

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

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

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

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

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

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

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

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

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

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

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

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

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

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

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

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

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

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

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

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

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

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

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

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

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

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

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

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

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

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

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Nikki Usher   All systems down

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

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

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

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

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

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

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

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

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

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

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

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

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

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

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

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

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

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

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

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Mario García   Think small (screen)

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

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

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

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

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

Millie Tran   Wicked

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