“The gravitational pull toward digital” — audio-related highlights of Nieman Lab predictions

Journalism advocacy group Nieman lab has published its 2024 predictions. Featuring what Nieman refers to as “the smartest people in journalism,” the collection features dozens of writers, publishers, newscasters, and industry executives.

Kerri Hoffman (CEO, PRX) contributed Raising the alarm bell for public media. “It’s critical to acknowledge that local public radio stations bear considerable risk in the current podcast environment,” she asserts.

Of all the contributions we looked at, Hoffman alone provides a research data point: On-demand platforms have achieved 50% share of U.S. listening, becoming equal in reach to linear platforms:

“The touchpoint has arrived,” Hoffman observes, calling this inflection point a gravitational pull toward digital for radio, and predicts that “local public radio stations bear considerable risk in the current podcast environment.”

In another contribution, Kristen Muller (Chief Content Officer, LAist/Southern California Public Radio) offers An open letter to the incoming CEO of NPR. (That person has not been named yet, but current CEO John Lansing will exit NPR at the end of this year.) Muller suggests a three-point broad strategic plan. (Point #1: “Make no little plans.”)

Eric Nuzum (Co-founder, Magnificent Noise) offers a piece titled This election year, don’t forget there’s more than one story. He compares a presidential election year to Christmas morning for journalists, and advises keeping in mind a broader news framework. And he quotes E.B. White when characterizing a media industry focused on excellence: “[It] should arouse our dreams, satisfy our hunger for beauty, take us on journeys, enable us to participate in events, present great drama and music, explore the sea and the sky and the woods and the hills. It should be our Lyceum, our Chautauqua, our Minsky’s, and our Camelot.”

(See our interviews with Kerri Hoffman and Eric Nuzum.)

Brad Hill