Media stays Covid-escapist, but grief creeps in

“You won’t see many mask-wearers in films this year.”

Climate change coverage will evolve in unintended ways. News outlets may not have dedicated climate desks, but existing teams will have to cover news on their beat that is caused by global warming. Breaking news desks will cover more and more disasters, business desks will report on energy costs and supply chain breakdowns, and local desks will examine how flash flooding has damaged communities. Even the sports desks will need to adjust. Expect more stories about athletes being overcome by heatstroke or how a powerful windstorm blew a ball off the field.

Covid-19 cultural touchstones will continue to be avoided by escapist media — you won’t see many mask-wearers in films this year — but themes of grief and despair will seep into much of the content impacting popular culture in 2022.

Facebook’s rebrand as “Meta” will be disregarded by the public the way Google’s renaming to “Alphabet” was generally dismissed. And while this move will help Instagram keep its audience, they will need to innovate to keep actual users on the platform before transforming into a digital shopping experience. Accounts like Deuxmoi have proven how effective Instagram can be at attracting an audience, but, aside from merchandise opportunities and paid brand promotions, there aren’t many ways these popular accounts can monetize their audiences. If Instagram does not solve this, they may lose creators that have nothing to sell.

Lastly, I still believe readers are exhausted and seek clear guidance to solve their problems and answer their questions. Trusted outlets that prove to be reliable will find a loyal and steady community.

Megan McCarthy is executive director of growth at USA Today’s Reviewed.

Climate change coverage will evolve in unintended ways. News outlets may not have dedicated climate desks, but existing teams will have to cover news on their beat that is caused by global warming. Breaking news desks will cover more and more disasters, business desks will report on energy costs and supply chain breakdowns, and local desks will examine how flash flooding has damaged communities. Even the sports desks will need to adjust. Expect more stories about athletes being overcome by heatstroke or how a powerful windstorm blew a ball off the field.

Covid-19 cultural touchstones will continue to be avoided by escapist media — you won’t see many mask-wearers in films this year — but themes of grief and despair will seep into much of the content impacting popular culture in 2022.

Facebook’s rebrand as “Meta” will be disregarded by the public the way Google’s renaming to “Alphabet” was generally dismissed. And while this move will help Instagram keep its audience, they will need to innovate to keep actual users on the platform before transforming into a digital shopping experience. Accounts like Deuxmoi have proven how effective Instagram can be at attracting an audience, but, aside from merchandise opportunities and paid brand promotions, there aren’t many ways these popular accounts can monetize their audiences. If Instagram does not solve this, they may lose creators that have nothing to sell.

Lastly, I still believe readers are exhausted and seek clear guidance to solve their problems and answer their questions. Trusted outlets that prove to be reliable will find a loyal and steady community.

Megan McCarthy is executive director of growth at USA Today’s Reviewed.

Megan McCarthy

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Candace Amos

Ariel Zirulnick

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Richard Tofel

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Paul Cheung

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Don Day

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