Nieman Lab’s 150+ predictions for 2023 offer valuable inspiration for the year ahead. We picked our Top 30 pieces of inspiration from media leaders centred around 3 main themes.
It is notable though that only very few of Nieman Lab’s predictions come from Europe based industry leaders. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay tuned as we will further compare how some of these predictions resonate with media companies in France, Germany, UK, the Nordics and beyond.
AI is a dominant theme in 2023 predictions but debate around its use continue
Not surprisingly, many of 2023’s predictions centre around ChatGPT and generative AI. The clear theme is that generative AI will unavoidably come to newsrooms and to readers.
The good news is that some publishers see this more as a saviour than a threat, especially for local news. Joe Amditis highlights the benefits of AI for automation of menial tasks like summaries of events or public meetings. This allows journalists to focus on truly engaging with local communities.
When looking at the evolution of generative AI in 2023, most concerns point to the ethics and quality of generated content. In the context of already low trust in the news, authorship and ownership of AI generated content will need to be addressed. Central to these concerns is also the fact that ChatGPT’s training data ends in 2021.
In 2023 the human role of the journalists will become even more crucial to producing quality and trustworthy journalistic content that can differentiate from AI generated content.
The year where product focus becomes central to success
Felicitas Carrique and Becca Aaronson see 2023 as the year where news product teams are no longer a trend and become an essential function in publisher’s organisations.
This intensified product focus will lead to a world of change in news product approaches in 2023. Be it through more mobile first experiences and vertical video as predicted by Mario Garcia, or through the launch of new out-of-the-box products like the FT Edit as predicted by Esther Kezia Thorpe, 2023 will be a year of taking hard action in digital product innovation. 2023 could be the year where publishers stop clinging to the print past.
One trend that is particularly interesting to the work we do at Twipe is highlighted by Brain Moritz who talks about 2023 as the year of “rebuilding the news bundle”. As more publishers will start to fight the “age of digital media abundance” more products that focus on rebuilding the news to give people value for money will find success.
It’s about giving [readers] value for their money. It’s about giving readers a reason to subscribe, and then to renew that subscription.The bundle is dead. Long live the bundle.Brian Moritz for NiemanLab – associate professor at the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University.
The best way to start on such a journey is through edition based products. Contact our team to understand how Twipe NextGen technology helped publishers like Ouest France, The Alabama Lede or The Telegraph in launching new digital edition products.
Understanding the ever more complex audiences to build better relationships
2023 is a year where news audiences become more complex as newspaper publishers must be able to serve different generations with different habits:
- Gen Z are maturing and becoming more aware of their news needs, while having specific product demands and expectations.
- Millennials remain a challenging group to engage and drive conversion to paid subscribers.
- Generation X are digital savvy audience with immense subscriber potential.
- Baby Boomers are very loyal subscribers with strong habits, especially in print.
- A new generation Alpha is emerging where virtual and immersive technologies will likely play a big role.
In this context, publishers will focus more on fostering loyalty across the various platforms where these different audiences are present. This is especially in places where a stronger news presence is needed like TikTok or Instagram but also with continued focus on newsletters, which are still here to stay, according to Jim VandeHei.
Understanding the needs of these different audiences will expand beyond use of data in 2023 to direct audience content and 1-1 interaction as predicted by Pia Frey.
Interestingly, some predictions highlight 2023 as year where the power of the platforms will decrease, however social media remains an important channel to reach audiences.
Enjoy our Top 30 picks from the 150+ NiemanLab predictions
- Burt Herman – Journalism becomes more important in times of AI and ChatGPT.
- Sam Gregory – Transparency about how content is made becomes critical in times of generative AI.
- Joe Amditis – AI summaries will be a great help for local journalism, give publishers time to engage with the community.
- Nicholas Thompson – AI will become better and more widely used.
- Laura E. Davies – Journalists and AI will embrace each other and leverage their complimentary skills.
- Erik Ulken – Generative AI can get things wrong, as it is trained from the internet which is full of untruths.
- Cory Bergman – AI made content is going to keep coming fast.
- Janet Haven – ChatGPT means we will revisit trust and regulation around AI.
- Peter Sterne – Generative AI enters the newsroom but we need to answer the ethical questions.
- Bill Grueskin – AI can help local journalists with content and get back to their former greatness.
- Ryan Kellett – Loyalty programmes will boom as a way to encourage long-term relationships.
- Ariel Zirulnick – We will become more curious about our audiences beyond their news consumption habits.
- Brian Stelter – More news stories will be built with news avoiders in mind and not only catering to news junkies.
- David Skok – Drop in revenues at tech firms will leave readers thirsty for real human content.
- Julia Beizer – More focus will be needed on providing amazing experiences to readers to fight news fatigue.
- Pia Frey – Publishers will ask their audiences questions to get better qualitative data.
- Sarah Marshall – We can’t rely just on web channels, social will still be very important.
- Jadon Amos – Publishers will need to get better at TikTok to get Gen Z.
- Alexandra Svokos – More effort will be put to make news accessible on platforms where it is much needed like TikTok and Instagram.
- John Davidow – Programs for sharing learnings between Gen Z and others should be set up to bridge generational gaps
- Brian Moritz – 2023 should be the year the news industry focuses on bundles to give readers better value for money
- Jim VandeHei – Peak newsletter is not a thing. Bad newsletters will die whilst good ones will thrive
- Esther Kezia Thorpe – To acquire new subscribers publishers will go through a new phase of invent & innovate, e.g. smaller products like FT Edit
- Gina Chua – The way news stories are written has always been the same but maybe we’ll start to see this change in 2023.
- Al Lucca – Publishers will bring back the unique focus on design of print newspapers to make digital news stand out
- Mario Garcia – Newsrooms go mobile first, making content in vertical format and adding digital natives to the newsroom.
- Peter Bale – Rising print costs mean digital first becomes a necessity.
- Felicitas Carrique and Becca Aaronson – News product teams start to become mainstream across the board.