Journalism roundup: At least 66 journalists were killed in 2014 … Crowdsourcing the future of news…


KIEV, Ukraine — Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday that at least 66 journalists were killed over the course of the year as the number of reporters’ kidnappings soared in 2014.

Crowdsourcing the future of news

I usually make all of my work public and transparent and involve the audience on a daily basis (on Twitter and on the Social Sandbox). So when Nieman Lab asked me to make a news industry prediction for 2015, I decided this should be no different: I emailed 40 people who don’t work in news and asked for their 2015 news predictions. I also asked Facebook and Twitter. Here are some of the responses I got, as well as my own at the end:


Siphoning from social tech

2014 led me to into newsrooms around the world to have discussions on challenges, opportunities, and collaborations. My perspective is from social tech — Embedly works with social networks, music sites, media aggregators, chat apps, and blogs. I watch closely the relationship between social media and news sites, focusing on not the sharing aspect, but what features spread between the sectors. I see what news organizations are doing, what’s working, and share what I find with others in the field. Patterns emerge. They are not entirely surprising, but they point to important shifts in news that will be furthered in 2015.

The year news notifications need to grow up

We were driving from Pittsburgh back to Manhattan in a rental car when something remarkable happened: We hit traffic because of an accident.


Platforming the news

News organizations are increasingly designing and creating tools, products, and even entire platforms. Who wouldn’t want a technological boost in competitive advantage and efficiency, or an extra, diversified stream of revenue?

Disrupt the buzzword backlash

Last year, my noob forecasting ruffled the feathers of exactly nobody. This year I hope to provoke discussion about the sharp edges of our industry — our tools that cut us when used inattentively. My predictions for 2015 are intentionally edgy.

Visualization goes mainstream

The rise of the jacktivist

I moved from Washington, D.C., to Silicon Valley roughly a year and a half ago. Since then, I often tell people that the main difference between the two is that they run on different currencies: Washington runs on power, the Valley runs on ideas.

Personalization reaches newsrooms

Ten years ago, EPIC 2014 warned of automated algorithms entertaining the masses with frivolous news items made relevant by their routines online. Today,companies like Facebook are struggling to learn what newsrooms have long known: Presenting readers with personally relevant news is both science and art.


From walls to canals

Competition is the merciless propelling force of this new era of journalism — and in the year ahead that will only intensify. It’s a beautiful thing, though of course not everyone will win. To spot future winners and losers, watch the following issues:

Shifting gears: An interview with BuzzFeed’s Shani O. Hilton

Last month, BuzzFeed’s executive editor for news Shani Hilton stopped by the Nieman Foundation, where the Nieman Fellows and I had the chance to ask her a few questions.

hive-logo-medA few months ago we told you about a new tool from The New York Times that allowed readers to help identify ads inside the paper’s massive archive. Madison, as it was called, was the first iteration on a new crowdsourcing tool from The New York Times R&D Lab that would make it easier to break down specific tasks and get users to help an organization get at the data they need.


There’s Google and then there’s Google News. One tries to soak up the entire Internet, the other a curated selection of news sites. It’s easy to confuse the two, since you’ll often get “Google News” results at the top of a standard Google search page even if you never go near the url But they’re distinct parts of Googleland.

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