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*.

Mark S. Luckie   Newsrooms and streaming services get cozy

Jody Brannon   People won’t renew

Sarah Stonbely   Videoconferencing brings more geographic diversity

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

Ståle Grut   Network analysis enters the journalism toolbox

Samantha Ragland   The year of journalists taking initiative

Edward Roussel   Tech companies get aggressive in local

Natalie Meade   Journalism enters rehab

Joshua Darr   Legislatures will tackle the local news crisis

Nisha Chittal   The year we stop pivoting

John Davidow   Reflect and repent

Anthony Nadler   Journalism struggles to find a new model of legitimacy

Gonzalo del Peon   Collaborations expand from newsrooms to the business side

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

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

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

Nonny de la Pena   News reaches the third dimension

Mariano Blejman   It’s time to challenge autocompleted journalism

Logan Jaffe   History as a reporting tool

Francesco Zaffarano   The year we ask the audience what it needs

Ernie Smith   Entrepreneurship on rails

Charo Henríquez   A new path to leadership

Jim Friedlich   A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Victor Pickard   The commercial era for local journalism is over

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

Megan McCarthy   Readers embrace a low-information diet

Basile Simon   Graphics, unite

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

Catalina Albeanu   Publish less, listen more

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

Rachel Schallom   The rise of nonprofit journalism continues

Alicia Bell and Simon Galperin   Media reparations now

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

Brandy Zadrozny   Misinformation fatigue sets in

Danielle C. Belton   A decimated media rededicates itself to truth

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

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

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

Nabiha Syed   Newsrooms quit their toxic relationships

Imaeyen Ibanga   Journalism gets unmasked

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

Tamar Charney   Public radio has a midlife crisis

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

M. Scott Havens   Traditional pay TV will embrace the disruption

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

Burt Herman   Journalists build post-Facebook digital communities

Tonya Mosley   True equity means ownership

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

Sonali Prasad   Making disaster journalism that cuts through the noise

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

Mandy Jenkins   You build trust by helping your readers

Kawandeep Virdee   Goodbye, doomscroll

Mike Ananny   Toward better tech journalism

Chase Davis   The year we look beyond The Story

Nicholas Jackson   Blogging is back, but better

Janet Haven and Sam Hinds   Is this an AI newsroom?

Jer Thorp   Fewer pixels, more cardboard

José Zamora   Walking the talk on diversity

Jacqué Palmer   The rise of the plain-text email newsletter

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

Mark Stenberg   The rise of the journalist-influencer

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

Ariel Zirulnick   Local newsrooms question their paywalls

Zainab Khan   From understanding to feeling

Bo Hee Kim   Newsrooms create an intentional and collaborative culture

Tauhid Chappell and Mike Rispoli   Defund the crime beat

Gabe Schneider   Another year of empty promises on diversity

Whitney Phillips   Facts are an insufficient response to falsehoods

Zizi Papacharissi   The year we rebuild the infrastructure of truth

Julia Angwin   Show your (computational) work

Jeremy Gilbert   Human-centered journalism

Marissa Evans   Putting community trauma into context

Jessica Clark   News becomes plural

Chicas Poderosas   More voices mean better information

Marie Shanahan   Journalism schools stop perpetuating the status quo

Andrew Ramsammy   Stop being polite and start getting real

David Chavern   Local video finally gets momentum

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

Delia Cai   Subscriptions start working for the middle

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

Matt Skibinski   Misinformation won’t stop unless we stop it

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

Masuma Ahuja   We’ll remember how interconnected our world is

Garance Franke-Ruta   Rebundling content, rebuilding connections

Jesse Holcomb   Genre erosion in nonprofit journalism

Errin Haines   Let’s normalize women’s leadership

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

Kerri Hoffman   Protecting podcasting’s open ecosystem

Rick Berke   Virtual events are here to stay

Nico Gendron   Ask your readers to help build your products

Don Day   Business first, journalism second

Kristen Muller   Engaged journalism scales

Steve Henn   Has independent podcasting peaked?

Colleen Shalby   The definition of good journalism shifts

Talmon Joseph Smith   The media rejects deficit hawkery

Anna Nirmala   Local news orgs grasp the urgency of community roots

Celeste Headlee   The rise of radical newsroom transparency

Heidi Tworek   A year of news mocktails

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

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

Linda Solomon Wood   Canada steps up for journalism

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

Beena Raghavendran   Journalism gets fused with art

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

Meredith D. Clark   The year journalism starts paying reparations

Hadjar Benmiloud   Get representative, or die trying

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

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

Ben Werdmuller   The web blooms again

Jennifer Choi   What have we done for you lately?

Brian Moritz   The year sports journalism changes for good

Sara M. Watson   Return of the RSS reader

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

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

Michael W. Wagner   Fractured democracy, fractured journalism

Rodney Gibbs   Zooming beyond talking heads

Renée Kaplan   Falling in love with your subscription

Andrew Donohue   The rise of the democracy beat

Pablo Boczkowski   Audiences have revolted. Will newsrooms adapt?

Parker Molloy   The press will risk elevating a Shadow President Trump

Doris Truong   Indigenous issues get long-overdue mainstream coverage

David Skok   A pandemic-prompted wave of consolidation

Ray Soto   The news gets spatial

Jonas Kaiser   Toward a wehrhafte journalism

Joni Deutsch   Local arts and music make journalism more joyous

Hossein Derakhshan   Mass personalization of truth

Tshepo Tshabalala   Go niche

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

Cory Bergman   The year after a thousand earthquakes

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, a push for pluralism

Taylor Lorenz   Journalists will learn influencing isn’t easy

Cory Haik   Be essential

Kevin D. Grant   Parachute journalism goes away for good

Amara Aguilar   Journalism schools emphasize listening

Ryan Kellett   The bundle gets bundled

John Ketchum   More journalists of color become newsroom founders

Cindy Royal   J-school grads maintain their optimism and adaptability

Christoph Mergerson   Black Americans will demand more from journalism

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

A.J. Bauer   The year of MAGAcal thinking

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

John Garrett   A surprisingly good year

Sarah Marshall   The year audiences need extra cheer

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

Robert Hernandez   Data and shame

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

Joanne McNeil   Newsrooms push back against Ivy League cronyism

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

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   Stop pretending publishers are a united front

Matt DeRienzo   Citizen truth brigades steer us back toward reality

John Saroff   Covid sparks the growth of independent local news sites

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

Tim Carmody   Spotify will make big waves in video

Cherian George   Enter the lamb warriors

Pia Frey   Building growth through tastemakers and their communities

Loretta Chao   Open up the profession

Alyssa Zeisler   Holistic medicine for journalism