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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Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

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Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

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Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

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Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

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Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Paul Ford   Go global

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Burt Herman   Things get real

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

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Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

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Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

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Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

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Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

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Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

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Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

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Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

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Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

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Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

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Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

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