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.

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

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

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

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

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

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

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

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

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

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

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

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

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

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

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

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

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

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

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

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

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

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

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

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

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

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

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

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

Cory Haik   Be essential

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

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

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

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

Joshua Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

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

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

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

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

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

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

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

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

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

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

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

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

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

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

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

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

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

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

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

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

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

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

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

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

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

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

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

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

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

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

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

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

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

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