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We Predict the Future of Journalism Every Year. Does it Ever Work Out?

Happy Monday! For many of you, this is probably your last working Monday of the year. For others ...
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We Predict the Future of Journalism Every Year. Does it Ever Work Out?
By Adriana Lacy • Issue #5 • View online
Happy Monday! For many of you, this is probably your last working Monday of the year. For others … it’s not. Regardless of which camp you’re in, here’s to finishing the year off strong.
Questions? Comments? Anything in between? Simply reply to this email or hit me up at
Now, to the good stuff …

About a week ago, Nieman Lab starting releasing its annual “Predictions for Journalism” for 2019. The lab reaches out to some of the best and the brightest in the industry, sharing what they think journalism will look like in the coming year, with predictions ranging from audience, technology, platforms, demographics and more.
It’s probably my favorite time of the year. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read what their industry could look like over the next few months?
This year, however, I started to think about last year’s list. Did any of the predictions that were made for 2018 come true?
I re-visited the list this weekend to pull out some of last year’s predictions that actually happened in 2018.
Television Has Won
Hossein Derakhshan, journalist and analyst
This is probably one of my favorite predictions from last year. I remember reading this and thinking, is this the year when publishers make a real push to TV? While traditional cable networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News had another successful year on tv, we also saw a lot of print or digital natives hitting the screen. Axios debuted with its show on HBO and the New York Times is laying the groundwork for its weekly television series. Publishers are seeing TV not just as a way for more revenue, but for a way to tell stories and gain a new audience.
Audience Teams Diversify Their Approach
Kim Fox, managing editor of audience, The Philadelphia Inquirer
In 2018, we saw a lot of newsrooms taking its audience seriously. More and more engagement and social editing jobs have been created, utilizing a variety of skillsets. Kim summed it up perfectly: “The 2018 audience roadmap will involve an increased focus on SEO, analytics, on-platform recirculation, community management, and newsletters.” The way that newsrooms approached its audiences this year was unlike ever before and many newsrooms should look to continue this trend.
Show Your Work
Elizabeth Jensen, public editor, NPR
We’ve seen a lot of publishers ditch their public editors. They claim that they are outdated and useless. When it happened, it made me nervous about the way institutions would handle criticism and accountability. If i’m being honest, it still makes me nervous. But what has been refreshing is journalists showing their work. I’ve seen a lot of explainers on how journalists broke a big story, like this Times Insider piece on how How Times Journalists Uncovered the Original Source of the President’s Wealth. Journalists are showing their work and our industry is better becuase of it.

Beyond 800 words: What user testing taught me about writing news for young people
Has Washington Media Reached Peak Newsletter? — Washingtonian
What does membership mean for BuzzFeed News — at a company that’s already raised nearly $500 million in venture capital? — Nieman Journalism Lab
What 2018 has taught us about building a stronger future for American democracy
Why so many recommendation sites promise to help you find the best stuff — Vox Media
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Adriana Lacy

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