A surprisingly good year

“The pandemic shined a light on the need for local journalism and local news outlets will benefit from new relationships residents are building with their local news providers.”

2021 will be a really good year for the business of local news.

Local news is one industry this pandemic did not disrupt. The pandemic shined a light on the need for local journalism and local news outlets will benefit from new relationships residents are building with their local news providers.

If news organizations take advantage of the opportunity, all newsrooms can benefit from all revenue streams. Reader revenue will continue to grow, “owned” digital dollars will grow — even print advertising revenue can grow as the news organizations use their unique place in the marketplace to demonstrate their enormous value to the communities they serve.

I believe large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, digital and legacy all stand to have a surprisingly good 2021.

John Garrett is the founder and CEO of Community Impact News.

2021 will be a really good year for the business of local news.

Local news is one industry this pandemic did not disrupt. The pandemic shined a light on the need for local journalism and local news outlets will benefit from new relationships residents are building with their local news providers.

If news organizations take advantage of the opportunity, all newsrooms can benefit from all revenue streams. Reader revenue will continue to grow, “owned” digital dollars will grow — even print advertising revenue can grow as the news organizations use their unique place in the marketplace to demonstrate their enormous value to the communities they serve.

I believe large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, digital and legacy all stand to have a surprisingly good 2021.

John Garrett is the founder and CEO of Community Impact News.

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Nikki Usher   Don’t expect an antitrust dividend for the media

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting dodged a bullet in 2020, but 2021 will be harder

Rishad Patel   From direct-to-consumer to direct-to-believers

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

L. Gordon Crovitz   Common law will finally apply to the Internet

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Julia B. Chan and Kim Bui   Millennials are ready to run things

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Patrick Butler   Covid-19 reporting has prepared us for cross-border collaboration

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Kate Myers   My son will join every Zoom call in our industry

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Annie Rudd   Newsrooms grow less comfortable with the “view from above”

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

Tanya Cordrey   Declining trust forces publishers to claim (or disclaim) values

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   The download, podcasting’s metric king, gets dethroned

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Jennifer Brandel   A sneak peak at power mapping, 2073’s top innovation

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Stefanie Murray and Anthony Advincula   Expect to see more translations and non-English content

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

Joshua Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

C.W. Anderson   Journalism changed under Trump — will it keep changing under Biden?

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Bill Adair   The future of fact-checking is all about structured data

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Francesca Tripodi   Don’t expect breaking up Google and Facebook to solve our information woes

Ashton Lattimore   Remote work helps level the playing field in an insular industry

Alfred Hermida and Oscar Westlund   The virus ups data journalism’s game

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

Aaron Foley   Diversity gains haven’t shown up in local news

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Marcus Mabry   News orgs adapt to a post-Trump world (with Trump still in it)

Ariane Bernard   Going solo is still only a path for the few

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Sue Cross   A global consensus around the kind of news we need to save

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Benjamin Toff   Beltway reporting gets normal again, for better and for worse

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

Astead W. Herndon   The Trump-sized window of the media caring about race closes again

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Shaydanay Urbani and Nancy Watzman   Local collaboration is key to slowing misinformation

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Candis Callison   Calling it a crisis isn’t enough (if it ever was)

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Cory Haik   Be essential

Richard J. Tofel   Less on politics, more on how government works (or doesn’t)

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Sumi Aggarwal   News literacy programs aren’t child’s play

Sam Ford   We’ll find better ways to archive our work

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

An Xiao Mina   2020 isn’t a black swan — it’s a yellow canary

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky and Cassie Haynes   A shift from conversation to action

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

Rachel Glickhouse   Journalists will be kinder to each other — and to themselves

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

Laura E. Davis   The focus turns to newsroom leaders for lasting change

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Raney Aronson-Rath   To get past information divides, we need to understand them first

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

Ben Collins   We need to learn how to talk to (and about) accidental conspiracists

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

james Wahutu   Journalists still wrongly think the U.S. is different

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

María Sánchez Díez   Traffic will plummet — and it’ll be ok

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

Mike Caulfield   2021’s misinformation will look a lot like 2020’s (and 2019’s, and…)

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader