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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Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

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

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

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

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

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

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Burt Herman   Things get real

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

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

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

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

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

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

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

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

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

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

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

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

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

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

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Jake Levine   The return to now

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

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

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

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

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Paul Ford   Go global

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

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

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

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

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

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

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

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

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

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

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new