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

The year to learn about news moments

“Late evening is peak time-filler — and therefore an opportunity to engage audiences. When writing or creating products, editors, reporters, and UX designers should therefore consider the reader sitting up in bed looking at her phone.”

To better serve existing audiences and reach new people, one thing we can do in 2020 is to cater to “news moments,” a term I learned from the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2019.

That study included qualitative research that concluded that young people have four key moments of news consumption:

  • Dedicated moments where they give time to news (usually in the evening or weekend);
  • A moment of update (usually in the morning);
  • Time fillers (browsing, often while doing something else); and
  • Intercepted moments where they receive alerts from news organizations or messages from friends with news.

Whether or not you are a young person, I’m sure you can relate to these moments. Do you check a newsletter, homepage, app, or Twitter in the morning in search of updates? If you’re like the 20 participants in the study, you’ll have “dedicated moments” when you spend time consuming a long read, perhaps on the weekend. And can you relate to the I’m-watching-Netflix-but-also-fiddling-with-my-phone moment that this report calls a “time-filler”?

Do you check your phone to unwind before you go to sleep at night? Late evening is peak time-filler — and therefore an opportunity to engage audiences. When writing or creating products, editors, reporters, and UX designers should therefore consider the reader sitting up in bed looking at her phone.

It’s not just the Reuters Institute report that encourages us to think of “news moments.” This post from Twitter guides us to think about how its audience uses the platform at different times: 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. is about staying informed, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. is a time for distractions, and 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. is a time for unwinding when people want “increasingly mindless or soothing content.”

What I find interesting are the different “news needs” people have at these moments. For example, in the evening, a reader might be most open to “inspire me” or “divert me” stories on Instagram and Pinterest. Indeed, “inspire me” and “divert me” are two of the six needs that Vogue audiences have. We found this though our own qualitative research of 5,000 people earlier this year. (The other needs are “update me,” “educate me,” “make me responsible,” and “connect me.”) We were inspired by a similar study carried out by the BBC World Service. Do you see “update me” stories read in the early morning, “inspire me” and “divert me” stories in the evening?

Here’s the theory in a table (click to enlarge):

Our job as audience editors is to get stories in front of more readers — “getting more people to read more of our journalism,” as The New York Times’ Innovation Report put it in 2014.

My hope is that “news needs” and “news moments” are tools we can use when writing stories, considering formats, and designing products. The different audience needs at different moments of consumption is something I’ll be testing in the new year.

Sarah Marshall is head of audience growth for the Vogue Global Network at Condé Nast.

To better serve existing audiences and reach new people, one thing we can do in 2020 is to cater to “news moments,” a term I learned from the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2019.

That study included qualitative research that concluded that young people have four key moments of news consumption:

  • Dedicated moments where they give time to news (usually in the evening or weekend);
  • A moment of update (usually in the morning);
  • Time fillers (browsing, often while doing something else); and
  • Intercepted moments where they receive alerts from news organizations or messages from friends with news.

Whether or not you are a young person, I’m sure you can relate to these moments. Do you check a newsletter, homepage, app, or Twitter in the morning in search of updates? If you’re like the 20 participants in the study, you’ll have “dedicated moments” when you spend time consuming a long read, perhaps on the weekend. And can you relate to the I’m-watching-Netflix-but-also-fiddling-with-my-phone moment that this report calls a “time-filler”?

Do you check your phone to unwind before you go to sleep at night? Late evening is peak time-filler — and therefore an opportunity to engage audiences. When writing or creating products, editors, reporters, and UX designers should therefore consider the reader sitting up in bed looking at her phone.

It’s not just the Reuters Institute report that encourages us to think of “news moments.” This post from Twitter guides us to think about how its audience uses the platform at different times: 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. is about staying informed, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. is a time for distractions, and 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. is a time for unwinding when people want “increasingly mindless or soothing content.”

What I find interesting are the different “news needs” people have at these moments. For example, in the evening, a reader might be most open to “inspire me” or “divert me” stories on Instagram and Pinterest. Indeed, “inspire me” and “divert me” are two of the six needs that Vogue audiences have. We found this though our own qualitative research of 5,000 people earlier this year. (The other needs are “update me,” “educate me,” “make me responsible,” and “connect me.”) We were inspired by a similar study carried out by the BBC World Service. Do you see “update me” stories read in the early morning, “inspire me” and “divert me” stories in the evening?

Here’s the theory in a table (click to enlarge):

Our job as audience editors is to get stories in front of more readers — “getting more people to read more of our journalism,” as The New York Times’ Innovation Report put it in 2014.

My hope is that “news needs” and “news moments” are tools we can use when writing stories, considering formats, and designing products. The different audience needs at different moments of consumption is something I’ll be testing in the new year.

Sarah Marshall is head of audience growth for the Vogue Global Network at Condé Nast.

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Richard Tofel   A constraint of the reader-revenue model emerges

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

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

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

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

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

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

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

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

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

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

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

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

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

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

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

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

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

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

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

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

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

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

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

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

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

Nikki Usher   All systems down

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

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

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

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

Millie Tran   Wicked

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

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

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

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

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

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

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

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

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

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

Mario García   Think small (screen)

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

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

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

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

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Juleyka Lantigua   A changing industry amps up podcasters’ ambitions

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

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

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

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

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Gordon Crovitz   Fighting misinformation requires journalism, not secret algorithms

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

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

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

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

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

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

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

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

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

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

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

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

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

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