Publish less, listen more

“It’s time to value listening as an act of journalism, above getting the story. Or else you might find that fewer people are willing to listen to you.”

If there’s one thing that feels more certain at the end of 2020 than its beginning, it’s our readers’ need for a space that acknowledges experiences and emotions. A space that offers a window into moments you recognize from your own life, or into the experiences of those who see things from a different perspective — and where even the most mundane aspects of life feel important if they’re important to you. A space where you can process things that might be simmering in the back of your mind but that you haven’t found the time to check in with lately. (Because you’re too busy surviving a pandemic.)

Journalism can offer this space. Journalists, especially those in membership-based organizations or media with strong reader-revenue plans, are now often facilitating conversations or events as part of the editorial process. Those conversations might not feel the same as when they could happen offline, but their value is only increasing.

At DoR, we’ve felt the growing importance of building our listening skills in many ways: in interviews that last longer, because the questions are much needed at this time; in responses to stories where we crowdsource contributions from our members; in online events that can offer validation that your own questions are important and offer some tools to find answers; and in what some of our members are telling us directly about what we could do better.

If you’re a journalist at a small organization relying on reader contributions, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough for those who have given you their support. And the instinct is to do more — which in the journalism world often translates to publishing more.

But maybe it’s not more articles that would really feel like value to your readers at this time.

For media organizations that are built on membership or for those who hope to increase their share of reader-revenue in a meaningful way, 2021 could be a make-it-or-break-it year for community relationships.

It’s time to consolidate the listening routines you’ve already developed and build ways to start holding this space for reflection. It’s time to value listening as an act of journalism, above getting the story. Or else you might find that fewer people are willing to listen to you.

Catalina Albeanu is digital editor at Romania’s DoR (Decât o Revistă).

If there’s one thing that feels more certain at the end of 2020 than its beginning, it’s our readers’ need for a space that acknowledges experiences and emotions. A space that offers a window into moments you recognize from your own life, or into the experiences of those who see things from a different perspective — and where even the most mundane aspects of life feel important if they’re important to you. A space where you can process things that might be simmering in the back of your mind but that you haven’t found the time to check in with lately. (Because you’re too busy surviving a pandemic.)

Journalism can offer this space. Journalists, especially those in membership-based organizations or media with strong reader-revenue plans, are now often facilitating conversations or events as part of the editorial process. Those conversations might not feel the same as when they could happen offline, but their value is only increasing.

At DoR, we’ve felt the growing importance of building our listening skills in many ways: in interviews that last longer, because the questions are much needed at this time; in responses to stories where we crowdsource contributions from our members; in online events that can offer validation that your own questions are important and offer some tools to find answers; and in what some of our members are telling us directly about what we could do better.

If you’re a journalist at a small organization relying on reader contributions, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough for those who have given you their support. And the instinct is to do more — which in the journalism world often translates to publishing more.

But maybe it’s not more articles that would really feel like value to your readers at this time.

For media organizations that are built on membership or for those who hope to increase their share of reader-revenue in a meaningful way, 2021 could be a make-it-or-break-it year for community relationships.

It’s time to consolidate the listening routines you’ve already developed and build ways to start holding this space for reflection. It’s time to value listening as an act of journalism, above getting the story. Or else you might find that fewer people are willing to listen to you.

Catalina Albeanu is digital editor at Romania’s DoR (Decât o Revistă).

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

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

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

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

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

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

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

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

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

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

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Joshua P. Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

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

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

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

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

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

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

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

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

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

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

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

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

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

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

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Cory Haik   Be essential

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

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

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

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

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

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

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

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

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

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

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

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

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

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

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

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

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

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

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

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

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

Gordon Crovitz   Common law will finally apply to the Internet

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

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

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

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

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

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

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

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

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

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

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

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

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

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

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

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

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Don Day   Business first, journalism second