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A year of local collaboration

“Gone are the days when a single news organization had the resources to dominate local news coverage, or when multiple news organizations would enter fierce competition to ‘win’ on the same local story.”

Gone are the days when a single news organization had the resources to dominate local news coverage, or when multiple news organizations would enter fierce competition to “win” on the same local story.

While competition used to drive strong news coverage and accountability reporting, a new information environment driven by technology and battling today’s challenges — from misinformation to declining trust in media — demand solutions from a variety of sources and players. In 2019, we’ll see an increase in multidisciplinary collaboration among sectors, institutions, and news organizations working to better serve local audiences.

There are a few positive indicators pointing to that trend:

Stronger local news ecosystems: A new nonprofit organization, Resolve Philadelphia, is leading a collaboration of The Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY, Billy Penn, WURD, NBC10, Temple University, and 13 other media outlets in Philadelphia to report on and promote civic engagement around the issue of poverty. Resolve grew out of a 2017 collaborative news project organized by the Solutions Journalism Network about the challenges and the solutions to prisoner re-entry in Philadelphia, producing more than 200 stories and about the social and economic toll of high recidivism rates. In 2019, Resolve Philadelphia will continue to apply the solutions journalism framework to “Broke in Philly” and provide in-depth, nuanced reporting on the impact of poverty and potential solutions in Philadelphia. Knight is supporting a similar effort with the Solutions Journalism Network in Charlotte and has been helping fund the Detroit Journalism Cooperative for more than five years.

National–local partnerships: ProPublica just announced it will be working with 14 more local news organizations under its Local Reporting Network on accountability reporting and investigative reporting projects. Report For America is seeking applications for its next class of reporters and local news organizations after demonstrating tremendous success last year. And Reveal is continuing its strong work bringing data journalism, new forms of storytelling, and a collaborative approach in New Orleans and San Jose, with more cities to come.

Multidisciplinary partnerships: Problems associated with declining trust in media are drawing experts across academia, technology, and journalism to work collaboratively on solutions. One example is Cortico, a media technology nonprofit born out of MIT Media Lab. Cortico is working with the Associated Press, Alabama Media Group, and others to create an ear-to-ground listening tool that can systematically identify and elevate issues important to their local community. We are seeing similar collaborations tackling other critical issues such as the governance of artificial intelligence and the news.

Media funders join forces: More and more, media funders are collaborating to support local journalism projects. For example, Knight joined with the Lenfest Institute in Philadelphia this fall to support a $20 million fund aimed at transforming local journalism. Another key example is NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign that is helping nonprofit news organizations build their audience and donor base while also helping them increase fundraising expertise. After launching in 2016 with 57 news organizations, Knight joined with Democracy Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Ethics and Excellence, and a host of others to help members of the Institute for Nonprofit News raise $26.4 million. The 2018 campaign, which closes on Dec. 31, now includes 155 nonprofit news organizations and a host of new funders.

In 2019, we’re hoping that funders will join together to invest in the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy organization for local news led by Chalkbeat founder Elizabeth Green and Texas Tribune founder John Thornton.

These examples are among the many collaborative efforts the Knight Foundation journalism team was excited by in 2018. Looking ahead, we anticipate more strategic and unexpected collaborations among news organizations and those passionate about creating a strong future for informed communities.

This prediction was written by the Knight Foundation journalism team: LaSharah Bunting, Paul Cheung, Jennifer Preston, Karen Rundlet. and Nick Swyter.

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Elisabeth Goodridge   Yes, they signed up — but our job’s not over

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Hearken   Pivot to people

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Robin Kwong   Tech shouldn’t be the only field pollinating “news nerds”

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Local news isn’t where you thought it was

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Alyssa Zeisler   We expand what (and how and who) we serve

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

Seth C. Lewis   The gap between journalism and research is too wide

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Matt Karolian   Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Hossein Derakhshan   The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Matt Waite   “I went to Node.js because I wished to live deliberately”

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons