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.

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

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

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

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Burt Herman   Things get real

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

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

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Jake Levine   The return to now

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

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

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

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

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

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

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

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

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

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

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

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

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

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

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

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

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

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

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

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

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Paul Ford   Go global

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

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

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea