Global reporting will suffer

“U.S. audiences will be less informed about the world.”

Wall Street CEOs and banks alike are grappling with our economic future in 2023, with daily predictions of a recession (or not) fluctuating. U.S. local and national media outlets are preparing for extensive coverage of the 2024 U.S. presidential election, extremism and democracy. One of the largest legacy newsrooms in the world has announced a significant restructuring of its international operations (read: downsizing) in the next few weeks. It seems the advertising revenue just isn’t there. What we’ve seen happen when media outlets make cuts in decades past will come back once again: international bureaus will close, coverage will consolidate, and global reporting will suffer.

The work we’ve done as an industry in recent years to step away from parachute journalism by building new models and institutions to support global local journalists as reporters and editors will be affected. Which, in turn, will affect the quality of coverage — and the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation — available to U.S. readers and audiences.

The industry has documented the spread of fake news in U.S. elections extensively. But there aren’t enough Pinocchios or Daniel Dales to combat potential false leads on TikTok, Twitter, or cable networks here in the U.S., let alone upcoming elections in Nigeria, Pakistan or Myanmar in 2023. Yes, we still see coverage of  Ukraine and protests in Iran, but we miss so much more. For instance, we hear hardly anything about Afghanistan, where the U.S. spent 20 years. Next year, will we know what restrictions the Taliban has extended to local media organizations, or how it has allowed the continuation of spread of misinformation? It’s unlikely.

U.S. audiences will be less informed about the world. What happens as the world’s second largest economy, China, decides to open up or remain closed under a zero-Covid policy next year? That decision will impact inflation, energy prices, global consumer spending, and interest rates. But coverage of that decision will be limited because many newsrooms just don’t have the funds.

Just as importantly, the pivot toward ad dollars and wall-to-wall U.S. election coverage could deal a blow to the strides our industry has made in recent years, acknowledging we are better served as journalists and consumers of news when journalism reflects the communities we cover. We’ve worked hard as an industry to hire an East Africa bureau chief from Kenya, see U.S. national newsrooms partner with mighty local-global ones, train local reporters to become correspondents in Delhi and, generally, moved away from calling regional veteran journalists fixers. Yes, there is still a long way to go, but the erosion of the work many independent, nonprofit, and a few legacy and corporate newsrooms have done will diminish the quality of coverage would, frankly, bring us back to some very bad journalism practices and bad journalism.

Global news coverage will depend in 2023, in part, on philanthropy, memberships, sponsorship. and new forms of revenue to continue, to support, and double down, on the growth of new journalism models, new business models and new newsrooms as our storied institutions turn toward Washington D.C. and inwards Most importantly, we must hold ourselves, as an industry, to account next year.

Khushbu Shah is the head of development for Rest of World, a nonprofit publication that covers the impact of tech outside the West.

Wall Street CEOs and banks alike are grappling with our economic future in 2023, with daily predictions of a recession (or not) fluctuating. U.S. local and national media outlets are preparing for extensive coverage of the 2024 U.S. presidential election, extremism and democracy. One of the largest legacy newsrooms in the world has announced a significant restructuring of its international operations (read: downsizing) in the next few weeks. It seems the advertising revenue just isn’t there. What we’ve seen happen when media outlets make cuts in decades past will come back once again: international bureaus will close, coverage will consolidate, and global reporting will suffer.

The work we’ve done as an industry in recent years to step away from parachute journalism by building new models and institutions to support global local journalists as reporters and editors will be affected. Which, in turn, will affect the quality of coverage — and the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation — available to U.S. readers and audiences.

The industry has documented the spread of fake news in U.S. elections extensively. But there aren’t enough Pinocchios or Daniel Dales to combat potential false leads on TikTok, Twitter, or cable networks here in the U.S., let alone upcoming elections in Nigeria, Pakistan or Myanmar in 2023. Yes, we still see coverage of  Ukraine and protests in Iran, but we miss so much more. For instance, we hear hardly anything about Afghanistan, where the U.S. spent 20 years. Next year, will we know what restrictions the Taliban has extended to local media organizations, or how it has allowed the continuation of spread of misinformation? It’s unlikely.

U.S. audiences will be less informed about the world. What happens as the world’s second largest economy, China, decides to open up or remain closed under a zero-Covid policy next year? That decision will impact inflation, energy prices, global consumer spending, and interest rates. But coverage of that decision will be limited because many newsrooms just don’t have the funds.

Just as importantly, the pivot toward ad dollars and wall-to-wall U.S. election coverage could deal a blow to the strides our industry has made in recent years, acknowledging we are better served as journalists and consumers of news when journalism reflects the communities we cover. We’ve worked hard as an industry to hire an East Africa bureau chief from Kenya, see U.S. national newsrooms partner with mighty local-global ones, train local reporters to become correspondents in Delhi and, generally, moved away from calling regional veteran journalists fixers. Yes, there is still a long way to go, but the erosion of the work many independent, nonprofit, and a few legacy and corporate newsrooms have done will diminish the quality of coverage would, frankly, bring us back to some very bad journalism practices and bad journalism.

Global news coverage will depend in 2023, in part, on philanthropy, memberships, sponsorship. and new forms of revenue to continue, to support, and double down, on the growth of new journalism models, new business models and new newsrooms as our storied institutions turn toward Washington D.C. and inwards Most importantly, we must hold ourselves, as an industry, to account next year.

Khushbu Shah is the head of development for Rest of World, a nonprofit publication that covers the impact of tech outside the West.

Esther Kezia Thorpe   Subscription pressures force product innovation

AX Mina   Journalism in a time of permacrisis

Kaitlyn Wells   We’ll prioritize media literacy for children

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

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Journalists productively harness generative AI tools

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

Susan Chira   Equipping local journalism

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

Rodney Gibbs   Recalibrating how we work apart

Julia Angwin   Democracies will get serious about saving journalism

Laxmi Parthasarathy   Unlocking the silent demand for international journalism

Kirstin McCudden   We’ll codify protection of journalism and newsgathering

Sumi Aggarwal   Smart newsrooms will prioritize board development

Basile Simon   Towards supporting criminal accountability

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

Ståle Grut   Your newsroom experiences a Midjourney-gate, too

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

Cory Bergman   The AI content flood

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

Dana Lacey   Tech will screw publishers over

Zizi Papacharissi   Platforms are over

Mario García   More newsrooms go mobile-first

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

A.J. Bauer   Covering the right wrong

Sue Schardt   Toward a new poetics of journalism

Sarabeth Berman   Nonprofit local news shows that it can scale

J. Siguru Wahutu   American journalism reckons with its colonialist tendencies

Eric Ulken   Generative AI brings wrongness at scale

Upasna Gautam   Technology that performs at the speed of news

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

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

Gina Chua   The traditional story structure gets deconstructed

Snigdha Sur   Newsrooms get nimble in a recession

Jessica Clark   Open discourse retrenches

Emma Carew Grovum   The year to resist forgetting about diversity

Joshua P. Darr   Local to live, wire to wither

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

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

Dannagal G. Young   Stop rewarding elite performances of identity threat

Jakob Moll   Journalism startups will think beyond English

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

Nicholas Thompson   The year AI actually changes the media business

Cassandra Etienne   Local news fellowships will help fight newsroom inequities

Alex Sujong Laughlin   Credit where it’s due

Julia Beizer   News fatigue shows us a clear path forward

Christoph Mergerson   The rot at the core of the news business

Walter Frick   Journalists wake up to the power of prediction markets

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

Sue Robinson   Engagement journalism will have to confront a tougher reality

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

Parker Molloy   We’ll reach new heights of moral panic

Khushbu Shah   Global reporting will suffer

David Cohn   AI made this prediction

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

Al Lucca   Digital news design gets interesting again

Sarah Alvarez   Dream bigger or lose out

Jody Brannon   We’ll embrace policy remedies

Eric Thurm   Journalists think of themselves as workers

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

Anita Varma   Journalism prioritizes the basic need for survival

Alexandra Svokos   Working harder to reach audiences where they are

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

Jim VandeHei   There is no “peak newsletter”

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

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

Wilson Liévano   Diaspora journalism takes the next step

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

Peter Sterne   AI enters the newsroom

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

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

Alexandra Borchardt   The year of the climate journalism strategy

Tim Carmody   Newsletter writers need a new ethics

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

Joanne McNeil   Facebook and the media kiss and make up

Tre'vell Anderson   Continued culpability in anti-trans campaigns

Peter Bale   Rising costs force more digital innovation

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

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

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

Joni Deutsch   Podcast collaboration — not competition — breeds excellence

Anthony Nadler   Confronting media gerrymandering

Emily Nonko   Incarcerated reporters get more bylines

Brian Stelter   Finding new ways to reach news avoiders

Alex Perry   New paths to transparency without Twitter

Elite Truong   In platform collapse, an opportunity for community

Amethyst J. Davis   The slight of the great contraction

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

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

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

Simon Galperin   Philanthropy stops investing in corporate media

Victor Pickard   The year journalism and capitalism finally divorce

Surya Mattu   Data journalists learn from photojournalists

Sarah Marshall   A web channel strategy won’t be enough

Masuma Ahuja   Journalism starts working for and with its communities

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

Richard Tofel   The press might get better at vetting presidential candidates

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

Delano Massey   The industry shakes its imposter syndrome

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

Karina Montoya   More reporters on the antitrust beat

Larry Ryckman   We’ll work together with our competitors

Eric Nuzum   A focus on people instead of power

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

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

Kathy Lu   We need emotionally agile newsroom leaders

Joe Amditis   AI throws a lifeline to local publishers

Ryan Nave   Citizen journalism, but make it equitable

Kerri Hoffman   Podcasting goes local

Gabe Schneider   Well-funded journalism leaders stop making disparate pay

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

Sue Cross   Thinking and acting collectively to save the news

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

Anna Nirmala   News organizations get new structures

Janelle Salanga   Journalists work from a place of harm reduction

Pia Frey   Publishers start polling their users at scale

Moreno Cruz Osório   Brazilian journalism turns wounds into action

Francesco Zaffarano   There is no end of “social media”

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

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

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Journalism education faces a crossroads

Leezel Tanglao   Community partnerships drive better reporting

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

Ayala Panievsky   It’s time for PR for journalism

Jaden Amos   TikTok personality journalists continue to rise

Barbara Raab   More journalism funders will take more risks

Priyanjana Bengani   Partisan local news networks will collaborate

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

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

Gordon Crovitz   The year advertisers stop funding misinformation

Ariel Zirulnick   Journalism doubles down on user needs

Rachel Glickhouse   Humanizing newsrooms will be a badge of honor

Michael Schudson   Journalism gets more and more difficult

Jonas Kaiser   Rejecting the “free speech” frame

David Skok   Renewed interest in human-powered reporting

Jessica Maddox   Journalists keep getting manipulated by internet culture

Brian Moritz   Rebuilding the news bundle

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

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

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

John Davidow   A year of intergenerational learning

Tamar Charney   Flux is the new stability

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

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

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   More of the same

Raney Aronson-Rath   Journalists will band together to fight intimidation

Matt Rasnic   More newsroom workers turn to organized labor

Bill Grueskin   Local news will come to rely on AI

Janet Haven   ChatGPT and the future of trust 

Lisa Heyamoto   The independent news industry gets a roadmap to sustainability

Mael Vallejo   More threats to press freedom across the Americas

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

Ben Werdmuller   The internet is up for grabs again

Taylor Lorenz   The “creator economy” will be astroturfed

Mar Cabra   The inevitable mental health revolution

Josh Schwartz   The AI spammers are coming

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

Jesse Holcomb   Buffeted, whipped, bullied, pulled