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

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.

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

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

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

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

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

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

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

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

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

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

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

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

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

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

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

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

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

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

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Mario García   Think small (screen)

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

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

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

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

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

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

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

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

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

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

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

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

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

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

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

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

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

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Millie Tran   Wicked

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

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

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

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

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

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

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

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

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

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

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

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

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

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

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

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

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

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

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

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

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

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

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

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

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

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

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

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream