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A year of local collaboration

“Gone are the days when a single news organization had the resources to dominate local news coverage, or when multiple news organizations would enter fierce competition to ‘win’ on the same local story.”

Gone are the days when a single news organization had the resources to dominate local news coverage, or when multiple news organizations would enter fierce competition to “win” on the same local story.

While competition used to drive strong news coverage and accountability reporting, a new information environment driven by technology and battling today’s challenges — from misinformation to declining trust in media — demand solutions from a variety of sources and players. In 2019, we’ll see an increase in multidisciplinary collaboration among sectors, institutions, and news organizations working to better serve local audiences.

There are a few positive indicators pointing to that trend:

Stronger local news ecosystems: A new nonprofit organization, Resolve Philadelphia, is leading a collaboration of The Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY, Billy Penn, WURD, NBC10, Temple University, and 13 other media outlets in Philadelphia to report on and promote civic engagement around the issue of poverty. Resolve grew out of a 2017 collaborative news project organized by the Solutions Journalism Network about the challenges and the solutions to prisoner re-entry in Philadelphia, producing more than 200 stories and about the social and economic toll of high recidivism rates. In 2019, Resolve Philadelphia will continue to apply the solutions journalism framework to “Broke in Philly” and provide in-depth, nuanced reporting on the impact of poverty and potential solutions in Philadelphia. Knight is supporting a similar effort with the Solutions Journalism Network in Charlotte and has been helping fund the Detroit Journalism Cooperative for more than five years.

National–local partnerships: ProPublica just announced it will be working with 14 more local news organizations under its Local Reporting Network on accountability reporting and investigative reporting projects. Report For America is seeking applications for its next class of reporters and local news organizations after demonstrating tremendous success last year. And Reveal is continuing its strong work bringing data journalism, new forms of storytelling, and a collaborative approach in New Orleans and San Jose, with more cities to come.

Multidisciplinary partnerships: Problems associated with declining trust in media are drawing experts across academia, technology, and journalism to work collaboratively on solutions. One example is Cortico, a media technology nonprofit born out of MIT Media Lab. Cortico is working with the Associated Press, Alabama Media Group, and others to create an ear-to-ground listening tool that can systematically identify and elevate issues important to their local community. We are seeing similar collaborations tackling other critical issues such as the governance of artificial intelligence and the news.

Media funders join forces: More and more, media funders are collaborating to support local journalism projects. For example, Knight joined with the Lenfest Institute in Philadelphia this fall to support a $20 million fund aimed at transforming local journalism. Another key example is NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign that is helping nonprofit news organizations build their audience and donor base while also helping them increase fundraising expertise. After launching in 2016 with 57 news organizations, Knight joined with Democracy Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Ethics and Excellence, and a host of others to help members of the Institute for Nonprofit News raise $26.4 million. The 2018 campaign, which closes on Dec. 31, now includes 155 nonprofit news organizations and a host of new funders.

In 2019, we’re hoping that funders will join together to invest in the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy organization for local news led by Chalkbeat founder Elizabeth Green and Texas Tribune founder John Thornton.

These examples are among the many collaborative efforts the Knight Foundation journalism team was excited by in 2018. Looking ahead, we anticipate more strategic and unexpected collaborations among news organizations and those passionate about creating a strong future for informed communities.

This prediction was written by the Knight Foundation journalism team: LaSharah Bunting, Paul Cheung, Jennifer Preston, Karen Rundlet. and Nick Swyter.

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Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

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John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

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Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

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Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

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Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

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Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

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Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

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Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Hearken   Pivot to people

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success