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

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

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

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

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

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

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

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

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

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

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

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Paul Ford   Go global

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

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

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

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

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

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

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

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

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

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

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

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

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

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

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

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

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Jake Levine   The return to now

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

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

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

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

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Burt Herman   Things get real

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