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.

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

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

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

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

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Jake Levine   The return to now

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Paul Ford   Go global

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

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

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

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

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

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

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

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

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

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Burt Herman   Things get real

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

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

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

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

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

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

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

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

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

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

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

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

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

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

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

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

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance