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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Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

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Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

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

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

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Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

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Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

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

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Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

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Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

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Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Burt Herman   Things get real

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

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

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Jake Levine   The return to now

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

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

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

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

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

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

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

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

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

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

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

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Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

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Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

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

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

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

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

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Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

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Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

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Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Paul Ford   Go global

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions