The arc of news and audience

“There’s been a reckoning in digital media, and hopefully, a recognition that the very thing we once decried as commodity journalism is also necessary journalism. Like milk and coffee and electricity, news is needed. Facts, verified, analyzed, contextualized, matter.”

We need to do news better.

I’ve been a part of at least four new ventures in my career. Each began with a certain disdain for news. Each ended (two are still around) with the realization we needed to break more news.

There’s been a reckoning in digital media, and hopefully, a recognition that the very thing we once decried as commodity journalism is also necessary journalism. Like milk and coffee and electricity, news is needed. Facts, verified, analyzed, contextualized, matter.

We also need to change how and when we’re delivering them.

This is the arc of a news story. You can plot many events of this past year on the curve: inauguration, hurricanes, awards shows, mass shootings. (Oh, 2017, where to begin?)

This is where we tend to focus our delivery of journalism.

This is the arc of audience engagement with a live news story. Notice how the growth trajectory is at odds with how and when we deliver the news, pictured above.

In 2018, we must meet their demand and bring audience into the process of reporting in real time. Some of this has already been forced upon us. Witness the coverage of #MeToo and the swift downfall of those accused; I can’t help but think back to days when we didn’t report on sexual misconduct unless a police report had been filed. Another hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) also reminds us to question the same sources that once set our news agenda.

It’s hard work to reconcile conflicting accounts in the moment, but that’s the difference between stenography and journalism. When we offer transparency into what we know, what we don’t know and how we know what we know, we gain trust. And we can certainly use more of that in 2018, too.

is the vice president for programming at CNN Digital.

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Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

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

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

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

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

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Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

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Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

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

Jake Levine   The return to now

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

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

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

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

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

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Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

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Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

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

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

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

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

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

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

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Dan Newman   A return to trust

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

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

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

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Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

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

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

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

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

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

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

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

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

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

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

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Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

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Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

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Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

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Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

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Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

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