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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 : LaSharah Bunting, Paul Cheung, Jennifer Preston, Karen Rundlet. and Nick Swyter.

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Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

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Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

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Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

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Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

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

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

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Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

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

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

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Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

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

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

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

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Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

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Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

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

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

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Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

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

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

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Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

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

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Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

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Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

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Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

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

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Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

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Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

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Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

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Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

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

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

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

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

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John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

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Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

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

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Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

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Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

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