We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

“After a year of constantly relearning our vulnerabilities, as individuals and communities, I hope we all carry more empathy and more understanding of our shared humanity with us into 2021.”

2021, we hope, is the year we emerge from the pandemic. When we start rebuilding. So my predictions for the future of journalism and news are about the direction I hope we build in, and two of the lessons I hope we take from this year.

First: The pandemic taught us how interconnected our world is, as we watched a virus slowly and then very quickly sweep across the planet. It also showed us how universal a lot of our core human experiences are: fear and sickness, loss and grief, isolation and longing.

Two journalism projects that emerged in this moment resonated deeply for me: The Nearness Project and The Journal Collective. One was a website “akin to art therapy” created by a group of young people, the other a collective of women photojournalists dotted around the globe publishing on Instagram.

What they shared was an inclination to document the collective experience of the pandemic and our shared humanity — telling individual stories to highlight the universality of our struggles. I hope that 2021 brings with it more journalism that embodies this understanding.

Second: There are the conversations we are finally collectively beginning to have — in public spaces, in our streets, and in our journalism — about systemic racism, injustice, and oppression.

Our systems and our institutions don’t give equal protection or rights to our people. They don’t offer equal access to opportunities. And in journalism and our public conversations, they don’t give equal weight and respect and understanding to our voices, experiences, or stories.

I hope 2021 brings with it a shift in power structures in journalism — a meaningful investment in building institutions that invest in Black and brown and Indigenous and immigrant and non-Western voices, in creating pipelines and opportunities for those who have been systemically disempowered.

For me, these lessons have led to starting from scratch and building something that embodies these values: investing deliberately in girls from around the world; creating a kind and curious community; cultivating a space that highlights our individual experiences, the ways in which power structures determine how we live differently across borders and zip codes, and also, our shared humanity.

I’m building a a global media venture that’s by and for girls — an organization that believes girls’ voices matter and invests in giving them the tools to tell their own stories and the platform to amplify their voices. And a platform that features individual girls’ stories while also cultivating a community that recognizes the universal experiences of girlhood and connects girls from across borders, demographics, and algorithmically curated feeds.

I know I’m not the only one leaving this year both exhausted and re-energized. After a year of constantly relearning our vulnerabilities, as individuals and communities, I hope we all carry more empathy and more understanding of our shared humanity with us into 2021. And with that, I hope we also bring a willingness to dismantle and reimagine broken systems and to invest in and create a more equitable future for our communities and for news.

Masuma Ahuja is founder of Girlhood*.

2021, we hope, is the year we emerge from the pandemic. When we start rebuilding. So my predictions for the future of journalism and news are about the direction I hope we build in, and two of the lessons I hope we take from this year.

First: The pandemic taught us how interconnected our world is, as we watched a virus slowly and then very quickly sweep across the planet. It also showed us how universal a lot of our core human experiences are: fear and sickness, loss and grief, isolation and longing.

Two journalism projects that emerged in this moment resonated deeply for me: The Nearness Project and The Journal Collective. One was a website “akin to art therapy” created by a group of young people, the other a collective of women photojournalists dotted around the globe publishing on Instagram.

What they shared was an inclination to document the collective experience of the pandemic and our shared humanity — telling individual stories to highlight the universality of our struggles. I hope that 2021 brings with it more journalism that embodies this understanding.

Second: There are the conversations we are finally collectively beginning to have — in public spaces, in our streets, and in our journalism — about systemic racism, injustice, and oppression.

Our systems and our institutions don’t give equal protection or rights to our people. They don’t offer equal access to opportunities. And in journalism and our public conversations, they don’t give equal weight and respect and understanding to our voices, experiences, or stories.

I hope 2021 brings with it a shift in power structures in journalism — a meaningful investment in building institutions that invest in Black and brown and Indigenous and immigrant and non-Western voices, in creating pipelines and opportunities for those who have been systemically disempowered.

For me, these lessons have led to starting from scratch and building something that embodies these values: investing deliberately in girls from around the world; creating a kind and curious community; cultivating a space that highlights our individual experiences, the ways in which power structures determine how we live differently across borders and zip codes, and also, our shared humanity.

I’m building a a global media venture that’s by and for girls — an organization that believes girls’ voices matter and invests in giving them the tools to tell their own stories and the platform to amplify their voices. And a platform that features individual girls’ stories while also cultivating a community that recognizes the universal experiences of girlhood and connects girls from across borders, demographics, and algorithmically curated feeds.

I know I’m not the only one leaving this year both exhausted and re-energized. After a year of constantly relearning our vulnerabilities, as individuals and communities, I hope we all carry more empathy and more understanding of our shared humanity with us into 2021. And with that, I hope we also bring a willingness to dismantle and reimagine broken systems and to invest in and create a more equitable future for our communities and for news.

Masuma Ahuja is founder of Girlhood*.

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

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

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

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

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

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

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

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

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

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

Cory Haik   Be essential

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Joshua Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

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

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

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

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

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

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

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

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

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

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

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

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

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

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

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

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

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

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

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

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

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

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

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

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

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

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

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

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

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

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

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

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

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

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

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

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

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

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

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

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

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

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

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

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

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

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

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

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

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

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

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