Revenue-first journalism

“No newsroom will launch a new initiative without having a clear plan for its financial sustainability.”

2018 brings a focus to revenue-first journalism, broader and stronger efforts to drive trust in news, and simple, short content and distribution formats.

  • Revenue first: Mobile-first strategies will continue to be vital to reach audiences, and the low cost of innovation will continue to allow for low-risk experimentation, but the focus for new journalism projects will be revenue-first. No newsroom will launch a new initiative without having a clear plan for its financial sustainability. Legacy newsrooms and start-ups will deal with it in their own ways, i.e., The New York Times cutting its free articles limit from 10 to 5 per month to drive subscriptions, and Axios focusing on owning a specific audience and diversifying its sources of revenue by selling sponsorships, ads, and events.
  • Trust: News organizations, foundations, and nonprofits will embark on major efforts to drive and strengthen trust in journalism and news brands. In a context in which the president attacks the credibility of news organizations on a daily basis, we will see more efforts that range from slogans like The Washington Post’s “” to , which aims to create standards of transparency in journalism to build a trusted press. We will also see more investments in bulletproof reporting. All trust efforts will highlight two elements: clarity and engagement. Clarity in the form of explainers, reporter bios, a clear differentiation between reporting and opinion, and making ethics codes public and transparent. Engagement by allowing the audience/community to be part of the reporting process through story ideas, sourcing, and commenting, resulting in higher impact journalism, in part because the community owns the stories.
  • Simplicity: In alignment with the revenue-first strategy and trust efforts, news organizations will focus on projects that allow them to own niche audiences and drive traffic and engagement with short-form, mobile-friendly content. We will see a stronger comeback of “retro” formats and distribution platforms that range from newsletters like to mobile micro reports to , podcasts, bots, and that is easy to digest on your mobile device.

is vice president of strategic communications for Univision News.

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Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

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Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

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Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

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Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

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

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

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

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Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

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Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

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Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

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Jake Levine   The return to now

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Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

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Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

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Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

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Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

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Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

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

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

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

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

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Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

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Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

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Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

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Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

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Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

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

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Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

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Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

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Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

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S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

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Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

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

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

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