Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

“With the distance allowed by ubiquitous videoconferencing, people in more remote locations or with less access to power are now just as accessible as the think tank two subway stops away.”

The lockdowns and quarantines that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented reliance on remote working and videoconferencing, as nearly all workers whose job functions allowed it worked from home in 2020. As a result, meetings, conferences, and conversations have migrated online, leading to a massive increase in the use of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and other videoconferencing apps for day-to-day business functions.

My hope/prediction for journalism in 2021 is that the newfound comfort with videoconferencing will lead journalists to sources and places they might not have looked before.

Observers have long lamented that national news, especially, is so focused on a few coastal cities like New York and Washington, where both media companies and power structures are based. But with the distance allowed by ubiquitous videoconferencing, people in more remote locations or with less access to power are now just as accessible as the think tank two subway stops away. Journalists should take advantage of this development to broaden the range of people and places in their stories.

As a correlate, many people who once lived in cities or other places defined by their cultural affordances (major institutions, great restaurants, live performances, etc.) have made the decision to leave for locations that can offer bigger houses and bigger yards at an affordable price. This includes all the journalists who have taken the opportunity to move home, where “home” is in the remote suburbs or the Midwest, for example. What both of these trends could mean is that the geographic diversity long lacking in national political news might finally be on the way.

Sarah Stonbely is research director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

The lockdowns and quarantines that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented reliance on remote working and videoconferencing, as nearly all workers whose job functions allowed it worked from home in 2020. As a result, meetings, conferences, and conversations have migrated online, leading to a massive increase in the use of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and other videoconferencing apps for day-to-day business functions.

My hope/prediction for journalism in 2021 is that the newfound comfort with videoconferencing will lead journalists to sources and places they might not have looked before.

Observers have long lamented that national news, especially, is so focused on a few coastal cities like New York and Washington, where both media companies and power structures are based. But with the distance allowed by ubiquitous videoconferencing, people in more remote locations or with less access to power are now just as accessible as the think tank two subway stops away. Journalists should take advantage of this development to broaden the range of people and places in their stories.

As a correlate, many people who once lived in cities or other places defined by their cultural affordances (major institutions, great restaurants, live performances, etc.) have made the decision to leave for locations that can offer bigger houses and bigger yards at an affordable price. This includes all the journalists who have taken the opportunity to move home, where “home” is in the remote suburbs or the Midwest, for example. What both of these trends could mean is that the geographic diversity long lacking in national political news might finally be on the way.

Sarah Stonbely is research director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

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

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Joshua P. Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

Cory Haik   Be essential

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

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

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

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

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

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

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

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

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

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

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

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

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

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

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

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

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

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Gordon Crovitz   Common law will finally apply to the Internet

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

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

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

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

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

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

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

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

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

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

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

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

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

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

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

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

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

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

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

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

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

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

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

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

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

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

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

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

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

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

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

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

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

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

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

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

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

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

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

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

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

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

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

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

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

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts