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

Let’s take it slow

“There are no voiceless people. There are only people whose voices the industry has chosen not to amplify.”

In 2020, the future of journalism is about being contextual and slowing down.

The industry has done (and honestly continues to do) a very poor job putting news within context. At a time when we’re exposed to more data at faster rates than before, the ability to turn it into understandable and actionable information is paramount. But many worry about the need for speed — eager to pump out data quickly, but slow to convert it into something useful. That conversion is what helps audiences. Look at the search fields in Google or YouTube and you’ll see that people are always asking questions.

We need to connect the dots, and that takes time.

And everyone actually has the time to take it slow. The internet is infinite; we’re competing not only with other news organizations, but also with all forms of content and entertainment. Look at some of the most popular examples in pop culture today, like “The Watchmen,” Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, or the movie Parasite: These are each in their own way slow-unfolding stories, and people have the patience to stick with them. Breaking-news culture has become all about shouting that the end is here; journalists have become addicted to it, fearing there won’t be another opportunity to tell the story. But the end isn’t nigh, and news media needs to embrace the slow burn to keep itself relevant.

The news industry has dedicated much of the past few years to navel-gazing, wondering why audiences no longer trust it. But it doesn’t understand that it never earned the confidence of many large sections of audiences it claims to court. Think people of color and women. The new year and the new decade offer a great opportunity to reset and occupy the space where we were always meant to be but have consistently failed to reach. And if we’re really serious about gaining trust, we have to listen to the people we’ve so often ignored and be unafraid of being challenged.

There are no voiceless people. There are only people whose voices the industry has chosen not to amplify. This happens often during presidential election seasons, when editors send reporters to the same states to hit up the same diners and interact with the same people. We have to let people know the journalists in their own communities — and that requires journalists to be active in those communities.

We cannot and will not get better as a business through gradual change. The industry needs a rapid transformation, and I believe putting news and reporting into greater context that acknowledges uncomfortable truths and history will help it succeed in this goal.

So rather than rushing to publish as soon as possible, and worrying about which platform will reach the most readers and viewers, we must ensure that our reporting educates our audiences with the information they need to make decisions and understand a complicated world. That’s impossible without context.

Imaeyen Ibanga is a senior producer and presenter with AJ+.

In 2020, the future of journalism is about being contextual and slowing down.

The industry has done (and honestly continues to do) a very poor job putting news within context. At a time when we’re exposed to more data at faster rates than before, the ability to turn it into understandable and actionable information is paramount. But many worry about the need for speed — eager to pump out data quickly, but slow to convert it into something useful. That conversion is what helps audiences. Look at the search fields in Google or YouTube and you’ll see that people are always asking questions.

We need to connect the dots, and that takes time.

And everyone actually has the time to take it slow. The internet is infinite; we’re competing not only with other news organizations, but also with all forms of content and entertainment. Look at some of the most popular examples in pop culture today, like “The Watchmen,” Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, or the movie Parasite: These are each in their own way slow-unfolding stories, and people have the patience to stick with them. Breaking-news culture has become all about shouting that the end is here; journalists have become addicted to it, fearing there won’t be another opportunity to tell the story. But the end isn’t nigh, and news media needs to embrace the slow burn to keep itself relevant.

The news industry has dedicated much of the past few years to navel-gazing, wondering why audiences no longer trust it. But it doesn’t understand that it never earned the confidence of many large sections of audiences it claims to court. Think people of color and women. The new year and the new decade offer a great opportunity to reset and occupy the space where we were always meant to be but have consistently failed to reach. And if we’re really serious about gaining trust, we have to listen to the people we’ve so often ignored and be unafraid of being challenged.

There are no voiceless people. There are only people whose voices the industry has chosen not to amplify. This happens often during presidential election seasons, when editors send reporters to the same states to hit up the same diners and interact with the same people. We have to let people know the journalists in their own communities — and that requires journalists to be active in those communities.

We cannot and will not get better as a business through gradual change. The industry needs a rapid transformation, and I believe putting news and reporting into greater context that acknowledges uncomfortable truths and history will help it succeed in this goal.

So rather than rushing to publish as soon as possible, and worrying about which platform will reach the most readers and viewers, we must ensure that our reporting educates our audiences with the information they need to make decisions and understand a complicated world. That’s impossible without context.

Imaeyen Ibanga is a senior producer and presenter with AJ+.

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

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

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

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

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

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

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

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

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

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

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

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

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

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

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

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

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

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

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

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

Marie Gilot   This is fine

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

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

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

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

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

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

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

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

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

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

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

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

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

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

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

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

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

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

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

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

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

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

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

Millie Tran   Wicked

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

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

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

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

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

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

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

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

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

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

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

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

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

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Mario García   Think small (screen)

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

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

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

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

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

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