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.

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

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

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

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

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

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

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Paul Ford   Go global

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

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

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

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

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Burt Herman   Things get real

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

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

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Jake Levine   The return to now

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

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

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

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

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

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

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

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

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

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

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

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

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

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

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

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

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