More of the same

“I’m of the belief that 2023 probably won’t be all that different from 2022.”

I am not someone who believes things are changing all that quickly in media right now. Certainly, I see lots of announcements — launches, closures, layoffs, M&As — but mostly it all feels like nothing new under the sun. The big story of the last few years has been the retreat of digital natives — Vice, BuzzFeed, Vox. But what’s really new?

A lot of what we will continue to see is back to basics. Operationally though, that’s a lot: collecting and interpreting data, connecting with readers using tools like newsletters, managing site inventory, adapting subscriptions offers; and on and on and on. So many vendors, so many promises. The trick is in doing it well.

But the fundamentals are going nowhere fast. Spoiler alert: advertiser-supported media is no place to pin your dreams. You simply must build your business around your audience, monetizing in all the ways that make sense for your brand. For most — including us at MIT Technology Review — an important step is a robust subscription strategy. Maybe after that, you can build out events and/or commerce and/or some sort of premium content. But all of it — simply all of it — must map back to who you’re reaching, what value you provide them, and where else they are willing to follow you.

I’m of the belief that 2023 probably won’t be all that different from 2022. Yes, a weaker economy will hurt: more companies will shut down. Sadly, more jobs will be eliminated. But we’ve seen all that before. The biggest question will be why your audience should be loyal to you. Why read MIT Technology Review when Wired exists, or The Verge? Why read Semafor when there’s The Economist? Why The Athletic instead of ESPN?

Figuring that out is the key for any successful publisher.

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau is the CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review.

I am not someone who believes things are changing all that quickly in media right now. Certainly, I see lots of announcements — launches, closures, layoffs, M&As — but mostly it all feels like nothing new under the sun. The big story of the last few years has been the retreat of digital natives — Vice, BuzzFeed, Vox. But what’s really new?

A lot of what we will continue to see is back to basics. Operationally though, that’s a lot: collecting and interpreting data, connecting with readers using tools like newsletters, managing site inventory, adapting subscriptions offers; and on and on and on. So many vendors, so many promises. The trick is in doing it well.

But the fundamentals are going nowhere fast. Spoiler alert: advertiser-supported media is no place to pin your dreams. You simply must build your business around your audience, monetizing in all the ways that make sense for your brand. For most — including us at MIT Technology Review — an important step is a robust subscription strategy. Maybe after that, you can build out events and/or commerce and/or some sort of premium content. But all of it — simply all of it — must map back to who you’re reaching, what value you provide them, and where else they are willing to follow you.

I’m of the belief that 2023 probably won’t be all that different from 2022. Yes, a weaker economy will hurt: more companies will shut down. Sadly, more jobs will be eliminated. But we’ve seen all that before. The biggest question will be why your audience should be loyal to you. Why read MIT Technology Review when Wired exists, or The Verge? Why read Semafor when there’s The Economist? Why The Athletic instead of ESPN?

Figuring that out is the key for any successful publisher.

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau is the CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review.

Larry Ryckman   We’ll work together with our competitors

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

Julia Beizer   News fatigue shows us a clear path forward

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

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

Leezel Tanglao   Community partnerships drive better reporting

Surya Mattu   Data journalists learn from photojournalists

Joni Deutsch   Podcast collaboration — not competition — breeds excellence

David Skok   Renewed interest in human-powered reporting

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

Wilson Liévano   Diaspora journalism takes the next step

Dannagal G. Young   Stop rewarding elite performances of identity threat

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

A.J. Bauer   Covering the right wrong

Parker Molloy   We’ll reach new heights of moral panic

Al Lucca   Digital news design gets interesting again

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

Basile Simon   Towards supporting criminal accountability

Ryan Nave   Citizen journalism, but make it equitable

Susan Chira   Equipping local journalism

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

Joanne McNeil   Facebook and the media kiss and make up

Brian Stelter   Finding new ways to reach news avoiders

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

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

Eric Ulken   Generative AI brings wrongness at scale

Barbara Raab   More journalism funders will take more risks

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

Ben Werdmuller   The internet is up for grabs again

Richard Tofel   The press might get better at vetting presidential candidates

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

J. Siguru Wahutu   American journalism reckons with its colonialist tendencies

Anna Nirmala   News organizations get new structures

Josh Schwartz   The AI spammers are coming

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

Francesco Zaffarano   There is no end of “social media”

Rodney Gibbs   Recalibrating how we work apart

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

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   More of the same

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

Michael Schudson   Journalism gets more and more difficult

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

Raney Aronson-Rath   Journalists will band together to fight intimidation

Cassandra Etienne   Local news fellowships will help fight newsroom inequities

Kathy Lu   We need emotionally agile newsroom leaders

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

Gordon Crovitz   The year advertisers stop funding misinformation

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

Kerri Hoffman   Podcasting goes local

Joe Amditis   AI throws a lifeline to local publishers

Simon Galperin   Philanthropy stops investing in corporate media

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

Sarabeth Berman   Nonprofit local news shows that it can scale

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

Jonas Kaiser   Rejecting the “free speech” frame

Kaitlyn Wells   We’ll prioritize media literacy for children

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

Lisa Heyamoto   The independent news industry gets a roadmap to sustainability

Cory Bergman   The AI content flood

Walter Frick   Journalists wake up to the power of prediction markets

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

Anthony Nadler   Confronting media gerrymandering

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

Jim VandeHei   There is no “peak newsletter”

Victor Pickard   The year journalism and capitalism finally divorce

Laxmi Parthasarathy   Unlocking the silent demand for international journalism

An Xiao Mina   Journalism in a time of permacrisis

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

Jessica Clark   Open discourse retrenches

Taylor Lorenz   The “creator economy” will be astroturfed

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

Emily Nonko   Incarcerated reporters get more bylines

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Journalism education faces a crossroads

Dana Lacey   Tech will screw publishers over

Sue Robinson   Engagement journalism will have to confront a tougher reality

Sumi Aggarwal   Smart newsrooms will prioritize board development

Esther Kezia Thorpe   Subscription pressures force product innovation

Brian Moritz   Rebuilding the news bundle

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

Priyanjana Bengani   Partisan local news networks will collaborate

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

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

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

Jesse Holcomb   Buffeted, whipped, bullied, pulled

Ariel Zirulnick   Journalism doubles down on user needs

Ståle Grut   Your newsroom experiences a Midjourney-gate, too

Alex Perry   New paths to transparency without Twitter

Ayala Panievsky   It’s time for PR for journalism

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

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

Jessica Maddox   Journalists keep getting manipulated by internet culture

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

Sue Cross   Thinking and acting collectively to save the news

Rachel Glickhouse   Humanizing newsrooms will be a badge of honor

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

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

Pia Frey   Publishers start polling their users at scale

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

Elite Truong   In platform collapse, an opportunity for community

Jody Brannon   We’ll embrace policy remedies

Anita Varma   Journalism prioritizes the basic need for survival

Emma Carew Grovum   The year to resist forgetting about diversity

Matt Rasnic   More newsroom workers turn to organized labor

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

Eric Nuzum   A focus on people instead of power

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Journalists productively harness generative AI tools

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

Jaden Amos   TikTok personality journalists continue to rise

Alexandra Svokos   Working harder to reach audiences where they are

David Cohn   AI made this prediction

Peter Bale   Rising costs force more digital innovation

Upasna Gautam   Technology that performs at the speed of news

Amethyst J. Davis   The slight of the great contraction

Sarah Marshall   A web channel strategy won’t be enough

Sue Schardt   Toward a new poetics of journalism

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

Peter Sterne   AI enters the newsroom

Eric Thurm   Journalists think of themselves as workers

Julia Angwin   Democracies will get serious about saving journalism

Jakob Moll   Journalism startups will think beyond English

Masuma Ahuja   Journalism starts working for and with its communities

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

Karina Montoya   More reporters on the antitrust beat

Janelle Salanga   Journalists work from a place of harm reduction

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

Sarah Alvarez   Dream bigger or lose out

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

Gabe Schneider   Well-funded journalism leaders stop making disparate pay

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

Alex Sujong Laughlin   Credit where it’s due

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

Christoph Mergerson   The rot at the core of the news business

Tamar Charney   Flux is the new stability

Mar Cabra   The inevitable mental health revolution

Moreno Cruz Osório   Brazilian journalism turns wounds into action

Tre'vell Anderson   Continued culpability in anti-trans campaigns

Kirstin McCudden   We’ll codify protection of journalism and newsgathering

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

Joshua P. Darr   Local to live, wire to wither

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

Delano Massey   The industry shakes its imposter syndrome

Bill Grueskin   Local news will come to rely on AI

Snigdha Sur   Newsrooms get nimble in a recession

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

Gina Chua   The traditional story structure gets deconstructed

Khushbu Shah   Global reporting will suffer

Mario García   More newsrooms go mobile-first

Alexandra Borchardt   The year of the climate journalism strategy

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

Nicholas Thompson   The year AI actually changes the media business

Zizi Papacharissi   Platforms are over

John Davidow   A year of intergenerational learning

Tim Carmody   Newsletter writers need a new ethics

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

Janet Haven   ChatGPT and the future of trust