20200
P
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20100
R  E
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2050
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2040
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7

The race to 2021

“As we talk about converting users into subscribers, we need to embrace a similar (and possibly uncomfortable) conversion from news into information of value or need.”

I’m fixated on the morning after Election Day. And I think more newsrooms should be, too.

In 2020, a lot of journalists will do a lot of journalism about polls and candidates, debates, and conventions. My hope (and my commitment) is to go deeper into the lives of Americans on the issues they care about: schools, climate, racism, aging, the price of medicine, how to stay married, how to retire earlier, how to live longer…

My prediction: In 2020, audiences will force media to diversify content and make it more useful and accessible — a natural outgrowth of the waning “Trump Bump.” Regardless of who wins, the issues that brought us to such deep division will remain. We must prepare for this now.

Journalism has long had the power to serve as the glue of a community. We ceded ground, though, to platforms and their tendency to favor partisan takes and content. To be sure, the formats of traditional journalism don’t help, with a focus on “two sides” of a story versus embracing and explaining nuance.

How journalists can start setting us up for 2021:

  • Stop seeing social media as the story. I love social (follow me on Twitter!), but its users remain concentrated among a small group of people who are either “very conservative” or “very liberal.”Moderates simply do not wade in — even though most of the country defines themselves this way. This reticence to engage could be an opportunity if we capture nuance and the complicated nature of stories. Remember, America does not live on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Rethink career trajectories to match audience needs. You cover school boards and city council in your 20s and aspire to cover the president and Congress in your 30s. As a reader, you care more about the president and Congress in your 20s and really start to pay attention in your 30s to schools, civic life, real estate, and whether the garbage was picked up.
  • Let’s make news useful, accessible, and contextual. As we talk about converting users into subscribers, we need to embrace a similar (and possibly uncomfortable) conversion from news into information of value or need. Do you assign a review of the concert or just a listicle on the songs played? Do you need an article on Netflix’s newest series or a forum to discuss it after binge-watching?
  • Diversity efforts in media need an overhaul. Many of us are working to diversify mainstream media — but it won’t happen unless we’re open to rethinking our methods and storytelling. We’ve got to get off Twitter, go to the scene, and listen for more than a good quote. I’m predicting and pushing for some back-to-basics reporting and editing that intentionally shifts perspective and turns our platforms over to new sources. Only once we master formulas can we break them.

Mitra Kalita is CNN Digital’s senior vice president of news, opinion, and programming.

I’m fixated on the morning after Election Day. And I think more newsrooms should be, too.

In 2020, a lot of journalists will do a lot of journalism about polls and candidates, debates, and conventions. My hope (and my commitment) is to go deeper into the lives of Americans on the issues they care about: schools, climate, racism, aging, the price of medicine, how to stay married, how to retire earlier, how to live longer…

My prediction: In 2020, audiences will force media to diversify content and make it more useful and accessible — a natural outgrowth of the waning “Trump Bump.” Regardless of who wins, the issues that brought us to such deep division will remain. We must prepare for this now.

Journalism has long had the power to serve as the glue of a community. We ceded ground, though, to platforms and their tendency to favor partisan takes and content. To be sure, the formats of traditional journalism don’t help, with a focus on “two sides” of a story versus embracing and explaining nuance.

How journalists can start setting us up for 2021:

  • Stop seeing social media as the story. I love social (follow me on Twitter!), but its users remain concentrated among a small group of people who are either “very conservative” or “very liberal.”Moderates simply do not wade in — even though most of the country defines themselves this way. This reticence to engage could be an opportunity if we capture nuance and the complicated nature of stories. Remember, America does not live on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Rethink career trajectories to match audience needs. You cover school boards and city council in your 20s and aspire to cover the president and Congress in your 30s. As a reader, you care more about the president and Congress in your 20s and really start to pay attention in your 30s to schools, civic life, real estate, and whether the garbage was picked up.
  • Let’s make news useful, accessible, and contextual. As we talk about converting users into subscribers, we need to embrace a similar (and possibly uncomfortable) conversion from news into information of value or need. Do you assign a review of the concert or just a listicle on the songs played? Do you need an article on Netflix’s newest series or a forum to discuss it after binge-watching?
  • Diversity efforts in media need an overhaul. Many of us are working to diversify mainstream media — but it won’t happen unless we’re open to rethinking our methods and storytelling. We’ve got to get off Twitter, go to the scene, and listen for more than a good quote. I’m predicting and pushing for some back-to-basics reporting and editing that intentionally shifts perspective and turns our platforms over to new sources. Only once we master formulas can we break them.

Mitra Kalita is CNN Digital’s senior vice president of news, opinion, and programming.

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

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

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

Mario García   Think small (screen)

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

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

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

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

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

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

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

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

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

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

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

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

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

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

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

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

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

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

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

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

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

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

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

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

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

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

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

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

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

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Millie Tran   Wicked

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

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

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

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

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

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

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

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

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

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

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

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

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

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

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

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

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

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

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

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

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

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

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

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

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

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

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting