The year of the local watchdog

“What will be exciting to see in 2018 is how watchdog projects will be done. How will journalists tell and present their stories in novel ways? How will they engage the community around their findings? What would make their results most powerful, more accessible?”

In this heightened time of disinformation, fake news and press attacks, accountability reporting has never been more important.

It is a critical public service that informs and illuminates citizens so that they can make educated decisions and lead productive lives. The ripple effect: healthier communities, better services, and a stronger democracy.

In 2018, after years of shrinking resources and budget constraints, look for a reinvestment of time, talent, and dollars into investigative journalism by news organizations large and small.

We will see increased efforts to dig deeper into local issues that impact communities and particularly underserved populations.

New programs — such as the Abrams Nieman Fellowship — that provide training, funding, and research support will multiply.

Unique partnerships and collaborative reporting across organizations — involving nonprofits, public media, startups, legacy outlets, universities, and regular citizens — will also flourish, giving local newsrooms the necessary resources to hold leaders and institutions accountable. The ProPublica Local Reporting Network is just one example, supporting investigative journalists in cities with populations below 1 million.

What will be exciting to see in 2018 is how watchdog projects will be done.

How will journalists tell and present their stories in novel ways? How will they engage the community around their findings? What would make their results most powerful, more accessible?

Readers, listeners, viewers are counting on local watchdog journalists to look out for their interests. The new year holds great promise for transformative work.

Mira Lowe is director of the Innovation News Center at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

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Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Burt Herman   Things get real

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Jake Levine   The return to now

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Paul Ford   Go global

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up