(Hint: It’s about your brand)

“If this year was about transparency of the journalistic process and how we do our job, next year it will be about transparency of values and why we do our job.”

We know from research one of the primary reasons people pay for news now is for . In 2018, the reason people pay for news will be less transactional and less about the tangible exchange of goods, but instead based on the ~emotional~ relationship a news organization has with its audience. And that emotional connection is built on trust, transparency, and community.

People are increasingly spending money with companies and organizations that are , that they connect with, want to belong to, or align with the world they want to live in. And younger people who pay for news are more motivated than older news payers by a and purpose.

If this year was about transparency of the journalistic process and how we do our job, next year it will be about transparency of values and why we do our job.

First above is Malachy Browne’s tweet that shared the steps in using so-called video forensics. Then there’s The Washington Post’s and explaining the journalism process.

Take companies like Everlane and Spotify.1 Both have paired making great products with building a values-based brand — and in the process created a new kind of connection with their audience news organizations have yet to achieve. Everlane and forgoes traditional retail tactics like sales. Spotify used their policy on parental leave and as an opportunity to showcase their values.

Everlane’s explains their mission of “radical transparency” and shows it through cost breakdowns and price comparisons of various products.

Other brands like Away and Glossier have found success in leading with the emotional connection and making their community integral to what they do. Away’s president Jen Rubio said luggage brands talked too much about product details and not enough about . One of Glossier’s most popular products, the Milky Jelly Cleanser, was . Last year, were from “organic and peer-to-peer and earned sources,” a.k.a. their community.

Away’s leads with its mission and the inspiration behind the product. Glossier’s for what became the Milky Jelly Cleanser, and the product page for the lists every ingredient and highlights some with an accompanying explanation for why it’s included.

Social media, from which , has diminished news organizations’ brand, obscuring the values by which they do their work and the resulting connection. People are more likely to remember which platform they they found content on than the news brand that produced it. News organizations will need to continue the radical transparency of how we do the work, but also couple that with the why.

Taken together, articulating and acting on clear values alongside an aggressive commitment to transparency and community can be a roadmap for news organizations wanting to rebuild and strengthen trust and the emotional relationship with its audience.

is global growth editor at The New York Times. is managing director, brand at The New York Times.

Notes
  1. Full disclosure: Stine worked at Spotify from 2009 to 2011.

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Burt Herman   Things get real

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Paul Ford   Go global

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Jake Levine   The return to now

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

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