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

Stronger solidarity among news organizations

“We’ll share more about the challenges we share — how to confront bad actors, how to bolster our businesses, and yes, how to fight and win battles on our own turf and our own terms.”

I read the same speech over and over this year. It’s by Dana Coester, executive editor of 100 Days in Appalachia and a faculty member at West Virginia University. She delivered it to the Aspen Institute’s Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy at a meeting in Nashville in 2018; I was one of the commissioners and got to hear it IRL.

She describes her journey from enthusiastic early adopter to disenfranchised digital citizen, repeating the halting mantra: “We are not winning.”

Like me, Dana was an early adopter and believer in the power of technology to “right injustices, to insert missing voices into democracy, and to bridge divides.” And like me, she is pessimistic about the current state of the internet — but optimistic about journalism. I keep coming back to Dana’s speech to reflect and to rally.

There are many pieces in this genre. Clio Chang’s Medium essay, “The Decade the Internet Lost Its Joy.” Kara Swisher’s New York Times column “There Is a Reason Tech Isn’t Safe.” Dries Buytaert’s op-ed for CNN Business, “The Internet Is a Dark Place. I Want the Old One Back.”

The internet will not get safer or more joyful this coming election year. Stories from the past few weeks alone include government-led blackouts as a tool of suppression in India and Iran. A cyberattack in Pensacola and then another in New Orleans. And CNN’s own content being manipulated and shared on platforms who act slowly or not at all.

I hear Dana’s mantra of “We are not winning” in every one of those stories. We aren’t currently winning. But we won’t give up. In 2020, we will pick the right battles to fight, and the right places to fight them.

One “not right” place is Twitter. It’s full of distractions from the important work to do. I’d like to predict journalists will spend less time there in the year ahead — but that’s not a safe bet.

Some of the best journalism is happening right now. That’s a trend for the coming year. At CNN and elsewhere, I see outstanding political journalism — from swift and straight-up coverage of breaking news to sharp analysis, enterprise, and investigations. There’s much more to come.

There will be more innovative uses of technology, data, and storytelling to fact-check, to explain and annotate, to inform and prepare audiences for deepfakes and other types of misinformation. That kind of work will get better — and will be more needed — in the coming year. This moment of turmoil and division will make journalists and the work we do more valued.

While the U.S. election will rightly dominate the news cycles to come, journalists must ensure we aren’t doing those stories at the cost of others. That’s a huge priority at CNN, especially on digital/non-linear platforms. That means more human stories of detainees at the border. It means more reporting on the abuse of children by their religious leaders. It means growing the commitment to urgent journalism around the climate crisis. I’m grateful to work with smart people who are planning not just for 2020, but 2021.

In the coming year, news organizations that survived the pivot to video and the flawed theory of “homepagelessness” will more fully realize the power of trusted brands, the ability to control one’s destiny through owned and operated properties. There will be more in-house technological innovations. There will be smarter uses of tools and analytics to better serve audiences.

Social platforms won’t be abandoned, but they’ll be used more purposefully. The trust and hope that news organizations once had in platforms, naive as it was, has completely vanished. There are still audiences who deserve trustworthy, accurate content on those platforms. The CNN Climate Instagram account is one example of this — a critical single topic serving a targeted, engaged audience.

Solidarity among news organizations will strengthen. We’ll share more about the challenges we share — how to confront bad actors, how to bolster our businesses, and yes, how to fight and win battles on our own turf and our own terms.

Meredith Artley is editor-in-chief and senior vice president of CNN Digital.

I read the same speech over and over this year. It’s by Dana Coester, executive editor of 100 Days in Appalachia and a faculty member at West Virginia University. She delivered it to the Aspen Institute’s Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy at a meeting in Nashville in 2018; I was one of the commissioners and got to hear it IRL.

She describes her journey from enthusiastic early adopter to disenfranchised digital citizen, repeating the halting mantra: “We are not winning.”

Like me, Dana was an early adopter and believer in the power of technology to “right injustices, to insert missing voices into democracy, and to bridge divides.” And like me, she is pessimistic about the current state of the internet — but optimistic about journalism. I keep coming back to Dana’s speech to reflect and to rally.

There are many pieces in this genre. Clio Chang’s Medium essay, “The Decade the Internet Lost Its Joy.” Kara Swisher’s New York Times column “There Is a Reason Tech Isn’t Safe.” Dries Buytaert’s op-ed for CNN Business, “The Internet Is a Dark Place. I Want the Old One Back.”

The internet will not get safer or more joyful this coming election year. Stories from the past few weeks alone include government-led blackouts as a tool of suppression in India and Iran. A cyberattack in Pensacola and then another in New Orleans. And CNN’s own content being manipulated and shared on platforms who act slowly or not at all.

I hear Dana’s mantra of “We are not winning” in every one of those stories. We aren’t currently winning. But we won’t give up. In 2020, we will pick the right battles to fight, and the right places to fight them.

One “not right” place is Twitter. It’s full of distractions from the important work to do. I’d like to predict journalists will spend less time there in the year ahead — but that’s not a safe bet.

Some of the best journalism is happening right now. That’s a trend for the coming year. At CNN and elsewhere, I see outstanding political journalism — from swift and straight-up coverage of breaking news to sharp analysis, enterprise, and investigations. There’s much more to come.

There will be more innovative uses of technology, data, and storytelling to fact-check, to explain and annotate, to inform and prepare audiences for deepfakes and other types of misinformation. That kind of work will get better — and will be more needed — in the coming year. This moment of turmoil and division will make journalists and the work we do more valued.

While the U.S. election will rightly dominate the news cycles to come, journalists must ensure we aren’t doing those stories at the cost of others. That’s a huge priority at CNN, especially on digital/non-linear platforms. That means more human stories of detainees at the border. It means more reporting on the abuse of children by their religious leaders. It means growing the commitment to urgent journalism around the climate crisis. I’m grateful to work with smart people who are planning not just for 2020, but 2021.

In the coming year, news organizations that survived the pivot to video and the flawed theory of “homepagelessness” will more fully realize the power of trusted brands, the ability to control one’s destiny through owned and operated properties. There will be more in-house technological innovations. There will be smarter uses of tools and analytics to better serve audiences.

Social platforms won’t be abandoned, but they’ll be used more purposefully. The trust and hope that news organizations once had in platforms, naive as it was, has completely vanished. There are still audiences who deserve trustworthy, accurate content on those platforms. The CNN Climate Instagram account is one example of this — a critical single topic serving a targeted, engaged audience.

Solidarity among news organizations will strengthen. We’ll share more about the challenges we share — how to confront bad actors, how to bolster our businesses, and yes, how to fight and win battles on our own turf and our own terms.

Meredith Artley is editor-in-chief and senior vice president of CNN Digital.

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