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.

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

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

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

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

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

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

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

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

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

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

J. Siguru Wahutu   Journalists still wrongly think the U.S. is different

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

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

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

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

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

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

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

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

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

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

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

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

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

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

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Cory Haik   Be essential

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

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

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

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

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

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

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

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

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

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

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

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

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

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

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

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

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

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

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Gordon Crovitz   Common law will finally apply to the Internet

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

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

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

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

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

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

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

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

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

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

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

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

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

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

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

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

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

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Joshua P. Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

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

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

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

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites