As the year draws to a close, a few members of our edit staff shared stories that defined the last 12 months for their beat.
Devin Coldewey: Technology played a pivotal role in the coverage of protests against police violence over the summer. Disinformation and discord spread like wildfire on social media, but so did important information and documentation of brutality, often via the newly popular medium of live streaming.
Kirsten Korosec: Uber evolved from a company trying to cover everything in transportation to one focused on ride-hailing and delivery as it aims for profitability in 2021. To get there, Uber offloaded its micromobility unit Jump, its self-driving subsidiary Uber ATG and air taxi moonshot Uber Elevate.
Brian Heater: Smartphone sales suffered a major decline as people stayed home and spent less on luxury items. The expected rebound from 5G handsets will have to wait for 2021. Natasha Mascarenhas: Edtech, a sector that was notoriously undercapitalized, got a cash-rich spotlight as the coronavirus spurred widespread remote learning. Startups were able to raise funds, turn first profits, and finally grow from a tool to a necessity. Darrell Etherington: SpaceX had a tremendous 2020, realizing a lot of things that they’d been working on for years. First and foremost, they launched astronauts aboard a SpaceX spacecraft for the first time. They followed that up with even more human launches, and with a huge step forward in their Starship development program. Finally, they made big progress with their Starlink broadband internet constellation. Definitely the space industry newsmakers of the year.