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

Opening closed systems

“As on-demand audio and podcast listening increase in 2020 and beyond, we’ll see new audiences take shape, more experiments, and deeper stories made possible by the medium.”

Audio has always been an extraordinary medium for journalism. The year ahead will be critical for that very intersection, audio and journalism — in particular for podcasts. Research suggests that 15 percent of podcast listeners worldwide and rising are tuning into news podcasts. There are other positive indicators of growth, too: the announcement that the Pulitzer Prizes will feature a new category for audio reporting, a rise in investments in the space, and IAB’s projection that this will be a billion-dollar industry by 2021.

As the podcast market here in the U.S. matures, journalists and storytellers around the world are also increasingly turning to audio. But, as with all maturing sectors, there are caveats. For instance, podcasting is built on the open values of the web: open and free. This is an important cornerstone of journalism in the public interest. But excessive consolidation or the outsized influence of gatekeepers could stifle growth.

Similarly, advances in ad tech could challenge notions of consumer privacy. In order to keep an open invitation to new audiences — and increasingly, as the data suggests, to news consumers — now’s the time to set standards rooted in strong values that will allow the medium to continue healthily.

As on-demand audio and podcast listening increase in 2020 and beyond, we’ll see new audiences take shape, more experiments, and deeper stories made possible by the medium. And we must enable this work through a vigorous spirit of innovation, as technology is inextricably linked with content strategy. This is no small task for an industry in flux, but since the beginning of PRX, this kind of innovative mindset has informed all we do. We’ve remained committed to opening closed systems and building pathways in support of new generations of independent audio makers and the audiences they reach.

Kerri Hoffman is CEO of PRX.

Audio has always been an extraordinary medium for journalism. The year ahead will be critical for that very intersection, audio and journalism — in particular for podcasts. Research suggests that 15 percent of podcast listeners worldwide and rising are tuning into news podcasts. There are other positive indicators of growth, too: the announcement that the Pulitzer Prizes will feature a new category for audio reporting, a rise in investments in the space, and IAB’s projection that this will be a billion-dollar industry by 2021.

As the podcast market here in the U.S. matures, journalists and storytellers around the world are also increasingly turning to audio. But, as with all maturing sectors, there are caveats. For instance, podcasting is built on the open values of the web: open and free. This is an important cornerstone of journalism in the public interest. But excessive consolidation or the outsized influence of gatekeepers could stifle growth.

Similarly, advances in ad tech could challenge notions of consumer privacy. In order to keep an open invitation to new audiences — and increasingly, as the data suggests, to news consumers — now’s the time to set standards rooted in strong values that will allow the medium to continue healthily.

As on-demand audio and podcast listening increase in 2020 and beyond, we’ll see new audiences take shape, more experiments, and deeper stories made possible by the medium. And we must enable this work through a vigorous spirit of innovation, as technology is inextricably linked with content strategy. This is no small task for an industry in flux, but since the beginning of PRX, this kind of innovative mindset has informed all we do. We’ve remained committed to opening closed systems and building pathways in support of new generations of independent audio makers and the audiences they reach.

Kerri Hoffman is CEO of PRX.

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

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

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

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

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

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

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Millie Tran   Wicked

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

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

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

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

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

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

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

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

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

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

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

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

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

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

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

Juleyka Lantigua   A changing industry amps up podcasters’ ambitions

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

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

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

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

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

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

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

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

AX Mina   The Forum we wanted, the forum we got

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

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

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

Marie Gilot   This is fine

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

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

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

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

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

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

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

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

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

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

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

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Gordon Crovitz   Fighting misinformation requires journalism, not secret algorithms

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Mario García   Think small (screen)

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

Richard Tofel   A constraint of the reader-revenue model emerges

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

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

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

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

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

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

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

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

J. Siguru Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism