TikTok personality journalists continue to rise

“It won’t just be brand accounts posting these TikToks — it’ll be reporters using their own accounts to explain their reporting.”

Ask someone in their 50s (a non-journalist) to name a living journalist. They might say Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. Ask someone in their 20s, though, and they might say Taylor Lorenz, Dave Jorgenson, or Jack Corbett — because they’ve seen them on TikTok.

Younger audiences aren’t opening up a physical newspaper or turning on the 7 p.m. news (sorry). They’re scrolling on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok. And after seeing the success of The Washington Post and Planet Money‘s TikToks, other outlets are going to want in. But it won’t just be brand accounts posting these TikToks — it’ll be reporters using their own accounts to explain their reporting.

In 2018, TikTok was seemingly still just an app for cosplayers and children, but it’s become the world’s most popular app. It’s clear that TikTok is so much more than a dance app for kids. Gen Z is using TikTok as a search engine and it’s the most downloaded app for the 18-24 age group.

We’re going to see more journalists using personal (and brand) TikTok accounts to connect with young audiences in new ways. NPR and The Washington Post have proved that TikTok works for building connections with young audiences. The Washington Post has 1.5 million followers on TikTok, and Planet Money has more than 780,000.

What draws people to these accounts are the personalities behind them. We see the same people over and over again and develop relationships with them as individuals. It might not convert into pageviews, and it might not be a moneymaker at first, or maybe ever. But it has value.

We must meet audiences where they are and provide them with news in ways that are easy for them to understand — and today, that’s on TikTok. People are demanding (and receiving) more and more access and transparency to public figures, and that will extend to journalists too. Gen Z demands authenticity from their public figures, and journalists will be more ready to give it.

Jaden Amos is an audience editor at Axios.

Ask someone in their 50s (a non-journalist) to name a living journalist. They might say Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. Ask someone in their 20s, though, and they might say Taylor Lorenz, Dave Jorgenson, or Jack Corbett — because they’ve seen them on TikTok.

Younger audiences aren’t opening up a physical newspaper or turning on the 7 p.m. news (sorry). They’re scrolling on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok. And after seeing the success of The Washington Post and Planet Money‘s TikToks, other outlets are going to want in. But it won’t just be brand accounts posting these TikToks — it’ll be reporters using their own accounts to explain their reporting.

In 2018, TikTok was seemingly still just an app for cosplayers and children, but it’s become the world’s most popular app. It’s clear that TikTok is so much more than a dance app for kids. Gen Z is using TikTok as a search engine and it’s the most downloaded app for the 18-24 age group.

We’re going to see more journalists using personal (and brand) TikTok accounts to connect with young audiences in new ways. NPR and The Washington Post have proved that TikTok works for building connections with young audiences. The Washington Post has 1.5 million followers on TikTok, and Planet Money has more than 780,000.

What draws people to these accounts are the personalities behind them. We see the same people over and over again and develop relationships with them as individuals. It might not convert into pageviews, and it might not be a moneymaker at first, or maybe ever. But it has value.

We must meet audiences where they are and provide them with news in ways that are easy for them to understand — and today, that’s on TikTok. People are demanding (and receiving) more and more access and transparency to public figures, and that will extend to journalists too. Gen Z demands authenticity from their public figures, and journalists will be more ready to give it.

Jaden Amos is an audience editor at Axios.

Delano Massey   The industry shakes its imposter syndrome

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

Masuma Ahuja   Journalism starts working for and with its communities

Snigdha Sur   Newsrooms get nimble in a recession

Alexandra Borchardt   The year of the climate journalism strategy

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

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

Alex Perry   New paths to transparency without Twitter

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

Gina Chua   The traditional story structure gets deconstructed

Lisa Heyamoto   The independent news industry gets a roadmap to sustainability

Parker Molloy   We’ll reach new heights of moral panic

Brian Moritz   Rebuilding the news bundle

Ariel Zirulnick   Journalism doubles down on user needs

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

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

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

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

Sarabeth Berman   Nonprofit local news shows that it can scale

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

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

Susan Chira   Equipping local journalism

Joanne McNeil   Facebook and the media kiss and make up

Francesco Zaffarano   There is no end of “social media”

Kirstin McCudden   We’ll codify protection of journalism and newsgathering

Priyanjana Bengani   Partisan local news networks will collaborate

Anthony Nadler   Confronting media gerrymandering

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

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

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

Gabe Schneider   Well-funded journalism leaders stop making disparate pay

Josh Schwartz   The AI spammers are coming

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

Sumi Aggarwal   Smart newsrooms will prioritize board development

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

Sue Schardt   Toward a new poetics of journalism

Zizi Papacharissi   Platforms are over

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

Wilson Liévano   Diaspora journalism takes the next step

Emma Carew Grovum   The year to resist forgetting about diversity

Jesse Holcomb   Buffeted, whipped, bullied, pulled

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

Taylor Lorenz   The “creator economy” will be astroturfed

Christoph Mergerson   The rot at the core of the news business

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

John Davidow   A year of intergenerational learning

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

Mario García   More newsrooms go mobile-first

Leezel Tanglao   Community partnerships drive better reporting

Julia Beizer   News fatigue shows us a clear path forward

Jonas Kaiser   Rejecting the “free speech” frame

Anita Varma   Journalism prioritizes the basic need for survival

Brian Stelter   Finding new ways to reach news avoiders

Sarah Marshall   A web channel strategy won’t be enough

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

Joni Deutsch   Podcast collaboration — not competition — breeds excellence

Jessica Clark   Open discourse retrenches

Kaitlyn Wells   We’ll prioritize media literacy for children

Sarah Alvarez   Dream bigger or lose out

Peter Bale   Rising costs force more digital innovation

Emily Nonko   Incarcerated reporters get more bylines

Jody Brannon   We’ll embrace policy remedies

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

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

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

Bill Grueskin   Local news will come to rely on AI

Raney Aronson-Rath   Journalists will band together to fight intimidation

Julia Angwin   Democracies will get serious about saving journalism

Eric Thurm   Journalists think of themselves as workers

Mael Vallejo   More threats to press freedom across the Americas

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

A.J. Bauer   Covering the right wrong

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

Karina Montoya   More reporters on the antitrust beat

Victor Pickard   The year journalism and capitalism finally divorce

Alexandra Svokos   Working harder to reach audiences where they are

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

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

Dana Lacey   Tech will screw publishers over

Upasna Gautam   Technology that performs at the speed of news

Sue Robinson   Engagement journalism will have to confront a tougher reality

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

Amethyst J. Davis   The slight of the great contraction

Kathy Lu   We need emotionally agile newsroom leaders

Elite Truong   In platform collapse, an opportunity for community

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

Laxmi Parthasarathy   Unlocking the silent demand for international journalism

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

Ståle Grut   Your newsroom experiences a Midjourney-gate, too

David Cohn   AI made this prediction

Jessica Maddox   Journalists keep getting manipulated by internet culture

Kerri Hoffman   Podcasting goes local

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

Barbara Raab   More journalism funders will take more risks

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

Sue Cross   Thinking and acting collectively to save the news

Eric Ulken   Generative AI brings wrongness at scale

Moreno Cruz Osório   Brazilian journalism turns wounds into action

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

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

Ryan Nave   Citizen journalism, but make it equitable

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

J. Siguru Wahutu   American journalism reckons with its colonialist tendencies

Joe Amditis   AI throws a lifeline to local publishers

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

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

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

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Journalism education faces a crossroads

Cory Bergman   The AI content flood

David Skok   Renewed interest in human-powered reporting

Peter Sterne   AI enters the newsroom

Janet Haven   ChatGPT and the future of trust 

Jakob Moll   Journalism startups will think beyond English

An Xiao Mina   Journalism in a time of permacrisis

Alex Sujong Laughlin   Credit where it’s due

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

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

Dannagal G. Young   Stop rewarding elite performances of identity threat

Richard Tofel   The press might get better at vetting presidential candidates

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

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

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Journalists productively harness generative AI tools

Tre'vell Anderson   Continued culpability in anti-trans campaigns

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

Anna Nirmala   News organizations get new structures

Jim VandeHei   There is no “peak newsletter”

Simon Galperin   Philanthropy stops investing in corporate media

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

Joshua P. Darr   Local to live, wire to wither

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

Khushbu Shah   Global reporting will suffer

Mar Cabra   The inevitable mental health revolution

Rodney Gibbs   Recalibrating how we work apart

Matt Rasnic   More newsroom workers turn to organized labor

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

Surya Mattu   Data journalists learn from photojournalists

Janelle Salanga   Journalists work from a place of harm reduction

Esther Kezia Thorpe   Subscription pressures force product innovation

Nicholas Thompson   The year AI actually changes the media business

Eric Nuzum   A focus on people instead of power

Ben Werdmuller   The internet is up for grabs again

Michael Schudson   Journalism gets more and more difficult

Walter Frick   Journalists wake up to the power of prediction markets

Cassandra Etienne   Local news fellowships will help fight newsroom inequities

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

Gordon Crovitz   The year advertisers stop funding misinformation

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

Al Lucca   Digital news design gets interesting again

Jaden Amos   TikTok personality journalists continue to rise

Rachel Glickhouse   Humanizing newsrooms will be a badge of honor

Larry Ryckman   We’ll work together with our competitors

Basile Simon   Towards supporting criminal accountability

Tamar Charney   Flux is the new stability

Pia Frey   Publishers start polling their users at scale

Ayala Panievsky   It’s time for PR for journalism

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   More of the same

Tim Carmody   Newsletter writers need a new ethics