Democracies will get serious about saving journalism

“If democracy is going to survive, we’re going to need to fund its watchdogs.”

Journalism is struggling to survive. In the past decade, U.S. newspaper ad revenues have fallen from about $20 billion in 2010 to $10 billion in 2020. That’s meant fewer reporters keeping local politicians accountable and more room for a flood of disinformation that has confused voters. Politicians have started to realize that reporters — while often pesky — are crucial to stopping democratic backsliding.

In 2023, governments will invest in creative ways to support journalists. And journalists will begin to soften their objections to government funding as they come to realize that, if the funding mechanisms are well designed, it can be better than relying on Big Tech dollars.

A handful of journalism rescue efforts are already underway. The International Fund for Public Interest Media is seeking to raise $1 billion to fund journalism around the world. The Biden administration has pledged up to $30 million to the fund — a decent start. In September, the European Union passed a law preventing member states from interfering with the coverage of publicly funded media.

Even in the U.S., where government funding of journalism is less common, some states are taking action to solve the local news crisis. The California legislature granted $25 million to UC-Berkeley to strengthen local reporting in underserved communities. In 2021, New Jersey set up a commission that gives out annual grants to promote local journalism.

If democracy is going to survive, we’re going to need to fund its watchdogs.

Julia Angwin is founder and editor-at-large of The Markup.

Journalism is struggling to survive. In the past decade, U.S. newspaper ad revenues have fallen from about $20 billion in 2010 to $10 billion in 2020. That’s meant fewer reporters keeping local politicians accountable and more room for a flood of disinformation that has confused voters. Politicians have started to realize that reporters — while often pesky — are crucial to stopping democratic backsliding.

In 2023, governments will invest in creative ways to support journalists. And journalists will begin to soften their objections to government funding as they come to realize that, if the funding mechanisms are well designed, it can be better than relying on Big Tech dollars.

A handful of journalism rescue efforts are already underway. The International Fund for Public Interest Media is seeking to raise $1 billion to fund journalism around the world. The Biden administration has pledged up to $30 million to the fund — a decent start. In September, the European Union passed a law preventing member states from interfering with the coverage of publicly funded media.

Even in the U.S., where government funding of journalism is less common, some states are taking action to solve the local news crisis. The California legislature granted $25 million to UC-Berkeley to strengthen local reporting in underserved communities. In 2021, New Jersey set up a commission that gives out annual grants to promote local journalism.

If democracy is going to survive, we’re going to need to fund its watchdogs.

Julia Angwin is founder and editor-at-large of The Markup.

Andrew Donohue   We’ll find out whether journalism can, indeed, save democracy

Peter Sterne   AI enters the newsroom

Gordon Crovitz   The year advertisers stop funding misinformation

Daniel Trielli   Trust in news will continue to fall. Just look at Brazil.

Mael Vallejo   More threats to press freedom across the Americas

Doris Truong   Workers demand to be paid what the job is worth

Sam Gregory   Synthetic media forces us to understand how media gets made

Tim Carmody   Newsletter writers need a new ethics

An Xiao Mina   Journalism in a time of permacrisis

Sam Guzik   AI will start fact-checking. We may not like the results.

Leezel Tanglao   Community partnerships drive better reporting

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-check (no, really!)

Brian Moritz   Rebuilding the news bundle

Alan Henry   A reckoning with why trust in news is so low

Jim VandeHei   There is no “peak newsletter”

Nicholas Jackson   There will be launches — and we’ll keep doing the work

Sarabeth Berman   Nonprofit local news shows that it can scale

David Cohn   AI made this prediction

Khushbu Shah   Global reporting will suffer

Michael W. Wagner   The backlash against pro-democracy reporting is coming

Ryan Nave   Citizen journalism, but make it equitable

Dana Lacey   Tech will screw publishers over

Jesse Holcomb   Buffeted, whipped, bullied, pulled

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Journalists productively harness generative AI tools

Karina Montoya   More reporters on the antitrust beat

Sarah Marshall   A web channel strategy won’t be enough

Ryan Kellett   Airline-like loyalty programs try to tie down news readers

Wilson Liévano   Diaspora journalism takes the next step

John Davidow   A year of intergenerational learning

J. Siguru Wahutu   American journalism reckons with its colonialist tendencies

Mar Cabra   The inevitable mental health revolution

Andrew Losowsky   Journalism realizes the replacement for Twitter is not a new Twitter

Jody Brannon   We’ll embrace policy remedies

Eric Holthaus   As social media fragments, marginalized voices gain more power

Rachel Glickhouse   Humanizing newsrooms will be a badge of honor

Emily Nonko   Incarcerated reporters get more bylines

Barbara Raab   More journalism funders will take more risks

Ben Werdmuller   The internet is up for grabs again

Sue Robinson   Engagement journalism will have to confront a tougher reality

Gina Chua   The traditional story structure gets deconstructed

Ayala Panievsky   It’s time for PR for journalism

Jennifer Choi and Jonathan Jackson   Funders finally bet on next-generation news entrepreneurs

Dannagal G. Young   Stop rewarding elite performances of identity threat

Moreno Cruz Osório   Brazilian journalism turns wounds into action

Julia Beizer   News fatigue shows us a clear path forward

Peter Bale   Rising costs force more digital innovation

Victor Pickard   The year journalism and capitalism finally divorce

Alex Sujong Laughlin   Credit where it’s due

Janet Haven   ChatGPT and the future of trust 

Ryan Gantz   “I’m sorry, but I’m a large language model”

Shanté Cosme   The answer to “quiet quitting” is radical empathy

Rodney Gibbs   Recalibrating how we work apart

Lisa Heyamoto   The independent news industry gets a roadmap to sustainability

Jonas Kaiser   Rejecting the “free speech” frame

Sue Schardt   Toward a new poetics of journalism

Mariana Moura Santos   A woman who speaks is a woman who changes the world

Joe Amditis   AI throws a lifeline to local publishers

Priyanjana Bengani   Partisan local news networks will collaborate

Joshua P. Darr   Local to live, wire to wither

Paul Cheung   More news organizations will realize they are in the business of impact, not eyeballs

Cory Bergman   The AI content flood

Bill Grueskin   Local news will come to rely on AI

Kirstin McCudden   We’ll codify protection of journalism and newsgathering

S. Mitra Kalita   “Everything sucks. Good luck to you.”

Juleyka Lantigua   Newsrooms recognize women of color as the canaries in the coal mine

Anita Varma   Journalism prioritizes the basic need for survival

Jarrad Henderson   Video editing will help people understand the media they consume

David Skok   Renewed interest in human-powered reporting

Jakob Moll   Journalism startups will think beyond English

Cari Nazeer and Emily Goligoski   News organizations step up their support for caregivers

Pia Frey   Publishers start polling their users at scale

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Journalism education faces a crossroads

Mauricio Cabrera   It’s no longer about audiences, it’s about communities

Sarah Alvarez   Dream bigger or lose out

Janelle Salanga   Journalists work from a place of harm reduction

Mary Walter-Brown and Tristan Loper   Mission-driven metrics become our North Star

Nikki Usher   This is the year of the RSS reader. (Really!)

Joni Deutsch   Podcast collaboration — not competition — breeds excellence

Surya Mattu   Data journalists learn from photojournalists

Anthony Nadler   Confronting media gerrymandering

Laura E. Davis   The year we embrace the robots — and ourselves

Parker Molloy   We’ll reach new heights of moral panic

Emma Carew Grovum   The year to resist forgetting about diversity

Zizi Papacharissi   Platforms are over

Anika Anand   Independent news businesses lead the way on healthy work cultures

Jessica Maddox   Journalists keep getting manipulated by internet culture

Burt Herman   The year AI truly arrives — and with it the reckoning

Esther Kezia Thorpe   Subscription pressures force product innovation

A.J. Bauer   Covering the right wrong

Joanne McNeil   Facebook and the media kiss and make up

Cassandra Etienne   Local news fellowships will help fight newsroom inequities

Kavya Sukumar   Belling the cat: The rise of independent fact-checking at scale

Amethyst J. Davis   The slight of the great contraction

Eric Thurm   Journalists think of themselves as workers

Eric Ulken   Generative AI brings wrongness at scale

Danielle K. Brown and Kathleen Searles   DEI efforts must consider mental health and online abuse

Alex Perry   New paths to transparency without Twitter

Tre'vell Anderson   Continued culpability in anti-trans campaigns

Jenna Weiss-Berman   The economic downturn benefits the podcasting industry. (No, really!)

Johannes Klingebiel   The innovation team, R.I.P.

Josh Schwartz   The AI spammers are coming

Brian Stelter   Finding new ways to reach news avoiders

Julia Angwin   Democracies will get serious about saving journalism

Eric Nuzum   A focus on people instead of power

Martina Efeyini   Talk to Gen Z. They’re the experts of Gen Z.

Alexandra Borchardt   The year of the climate journalism strategy

Upasna Gautam   Technology that performs at the speed of news

Christoph Mergerson   The rot at the core of the news business

Kathy Lu   We need emotionally agile newsroom leaders

Basile Simon   Towards supporting criminal accountability

Mario García   More newsrooms go mobile-first

Molly de Aguiar and Mandy Van Deven   Narrative change trend brings new money to journalism

Alexandra Svokos   Working harder to reach audiences where they are

Errin Haines   Journalists on the campaign trail mend trust with the public

Delano Massey   The industry shakes its imposter syndrome

Christina Shih   Shared values move from nice-to-haves to essentials

Dominic-Madori Davis   Everyone finally realizes the need for diverse voices in tech reporting

Megan Lucero and Shirish Kulkarni   The future of journalism is not you

Larry Ryckman   We’ll work together with our competitors

Masuma Ahuja   Journalism starts working for and with its communities

Raney Aronson-Rath   Journalists will band together to fight intimidation

Sarah Stonbely   Growth in public funding for news and information at the state and local levels

Anna Nirmala   News organizations get new structures

Snigdha Sur   Newsrooms get nimble in a recession

Don Day   The news about the news is bad. I’m optimistic.

Kerri Hoffman   Podcasting goes local

Felicitas Carrique and Becca Aaronson   News product goes from trend to standard

Matt Rasnic   More newsroom workers turn to organized labor

Kaitlin C. Miller   Harassment in journalism won’t get better, but we’ll talk about it more openly

Ariel Zirulnick   Journalism doubles down on user needs

Jacob L. Nelson   Despite it all, people will still want to be journalists

Jennifer Brandel   AI couldn’t care less. Journalists will care more. 

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   More of the same

Michael Schudson   Journalism gets more and more difficult

Susan Chira   Equipping local journalism

Sue Cross   Thinking and acting collectively to save the news

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Well-being will become a core tenet of journalism

Stefanie Murray   The year U.S. media stops screwing around and becomes pro-democracy

Jaden Amos   TikTok personality journalists continue to rise

Walter Frick   Journalists wake up to the power of prediction markets

Tamar Charney   Flux is the new stability

Francesco Zaffarano   There is no end of “social media”

Al Lucca   Digital news design gets interesting again

Gabe Schneider   Well-funded journalism leaders stop making disparate pay

Simon Galperin   Philanthropy stops investing in corporate media

Nicholas Thompson   The year AI actually changes the media business

Kaitlyn Wells   We’ll prioritize media literacy for children

Sumi Aggarwal   Smart newsrooms will prioritize board development

Cindy Royal   Yes, journalists should learn to code, but…

Richard Tofel   The press might get better at vetting presidential candidates

Jessica Clark   Open discourse retrenches

Laxmi Parthasarathy   Unlocking the silent demand for international journalism

Hillary Frey   Death to the labor-intensive memo for prospective hires

Ståle Grut   Your newsroom experiences a Midjourney-gate, too

Jim Friedlich   Local journalism steps up to the challenge of civic coverage

Taylor Lorenz   The “creator economy” will be astroturfed

Elite Truong   In platform collapse, an opportunity for community