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Predictions for journalism 2020

NiemanLab is publishing its annual predictions for journalism. They're all worth reading, but here are a few highlights:

Jennifer Brandel imagines a letter from 2073:

What’s interesting is that, back then, people thought of news as something that was produced and distributed out of a place. That’s why they called it a news “room.” They used to conceive of it as containable, in a single brand or physical location where a set group of people worked to pull information in from the outside and then redistribute it elsewhere, often to whoever could afford to pay for it.

Joanne McNeil suggests that blogs will have a resurgence:

Blogs offer the potential to broadcast, but not too broadly. We might even see a breakdown where newsletters begin to focus more on individual personal stories and daily digests, while blogs will fill in the gaps of all that might be written about otherwise.

Jake Shapiro describes how podcasts will build community:

Podcasting may seem like a reach medium — with significant audiences for the biggest shows — but it really shines as a depth medium. The most valuable quality is listeners’ deep connection to the voices and stories in their ears.

Heather Bryant suggests that not all journalism is worth saving:

The question of how we save journalism (meaning newsrooms) will begin to shift to how do we save journalism (meaning the process). How we answer that question will have a profound impact on the management of newsrooms, the business models we develop, the processes we adapt, and the service we provide.

Kourtney Bitterly believes transparency is the key to regaining trust:

In order to build trust, news organizations must let people in on the processes and people that bring stories to life.

Cristina Kim describes how important it is to define audiences beyond "everybody":

The truth is that when we make audio news and content — both in public radio and beyond — for an imagined “everybody,” we’re just making it for white, cisgender, heterosexual audiences of a particular class and education, and centering their experience and perspectives.

And finally, this guy suggests it's time to stop looking to tech companies (or any other kind of magic spell) to save journalism:

Here’s the bad news: No one is coming to save you. No business is going to swoop in and provide sustainable funding for newsrooms. No new technology is going to transform the way journalism supports itself forever. No big, incredible deal is going to build a strong foundation for the news. There isn’t a single magic bullet that will work for everyone. Even producing groundbreaking journalism isn’t going to suddenly turn your fortunes around.

You can read the full list here.