Ringing in 2014: 10 Wishes For the Journalism Industry

2013 was quite the eventful year for journalists. Our Karen Fratti touched on these a bit earlier this week here. New Year’s resolutions are great and all, but I’ve been thinking of some general wishes I have for the journalism industry in 2014.

  1. Hoping that following journalism commentary becomes cooler. American Journalism Review quit publishing its print magazine this year (and had a very respectable comeback on the Web in December), but I’m still hoping that more of us will start making it a daily habit to read up on what AJR, CJR and the others are reporting about the state of the news media.
  2. Hoping that the longform renaissance continues. Whether it means paying $1.99 for one well-reported story, membership drives, monthly subscriptions or purchasing short e-books, let’s keep this going in 2014.
  3. Hoping to see more niche journalism. A digital wine magazine for all you sommeliers. Journalism exclusively about the South. We need more of these specialty interest publications, and with the Web, it’s easier to congregate around the unique topics we care about.
  4. Hoping to observe more publishers integrating informative, beautiful interactive components alongside their reporting. I loved what Al Jazeera America did with their Hurricane Sandy remembrance this year. And who doesn’t want to see more “Snowfall”s and “Tomato Can Blues”-y pieces?
  5. Hoping to see less native advertising. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
  6. Hoping to notice an uptick in livestreaming for news organizations. The Texas Tribune really put themselves on the map with their live coverage of the Wendy Davis filibuster. I’d love to see more of this valuable commodity in the coming election year.
  7. Hoping for less iPhone photography and a resurge in trained, talented photogs in the newsroom. The Chicago Sun-Times photography layoffs were brutal, holding lots of powerful implications about how much (or little) newsrooms value visual literacy and the art of a beautiful photograph. For this year, I hope to see fewer iPhone photos in the newspaper (this doesn’t count relatively routine news briefs), whether online or in print.
  8. Hoping for a smarter way of handling comments. Still trying to figure out whether they suck all the fun out of reading Web journalism or not. Leaning toward a resounding yes, but that could change tomorrow. Should we take anonymity away, or just scrap the people’s opportunity to chime in? Maybe we’ll nail it down in 2014.
  9. Hoping to see more unique means of storytelling emerge, like Brickflow or Storify. We keep hearing how much more we’re stimulated by visuals. We need more tools like the content block-building Brickflow to help relay coherent narratives using social media.
  10. Hoping that we develop more solutions for properly compensating interns. ProPublica got creative this year, taking to Kickstarter to fund an internship for a brave young journalist who would embark on a 16-week watchdog reporting trip, all to uncover truths about the intern economy in America. I’d love to see more of these kinds of reporting efforts, as well as creative ways to pay hard-working interns.

What are your journalism industry wishes for the new year? Predictions for 2014? Tweet us @10000Words or share in the comments!

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