The modern information economy grew ever more challenging in 2018. News flowed through social media platforms from an astonishing array of sources, often without context to show where the opinions or information originated. Amid the din, confidence in the objective truth of information read, seen and heard steadily declined. As revelations continued to emerge about unauthorized uses of personal data by Facebook and its ilk, the urge to turn off the laptop and disconnect from the world grew stronger.
And yet. Members of this community kept pulling the handle on Mountain Xpress’ purple boxes, kept visiting mountainx.com, kept commenting, kept writing letters to the editor and kept sending tips, suggestions, criticism and compliments. Xpress’ circulation has lately seen a modest but real increase, a heartening trend.
Your continued participation in this locally focused journalistic conversation — this project of growing and sustaining a healthy, vibrant community whose members speak up for the changes that matter to them — is the most important story of 2018 for Xpress. You stuck with us … and we stuck with you, because we believe that close attention to the news, issues and voices where we live is our best collective hope of making real and positive change in the world.
Xpress welcomes and seeks out diverse perspectives with the goal of representing the whole community, not just those with whom we agree or whose experiences we share. We respond personally to most inquiries and suggestions. And we remain committed to rigorous fact-checking, copy editing and obtaining comment from all sides. We think that’s why you continue to trust our reporting, even as the information environment beyond Western North Carolina grows ever more contentious.
Thank you for all you’ve done to support Xpress’ work this year and for your ongoing interest in nurturing an engaged, empowered community. We hope you’ll enjoy our picks of the stories, events, people and issues that defined 2018. As always, we’d love to hear what you’d add to or change about our lists.
— Virginia Daffron, managing editor
- Partisanship alive and well in WNC politics
- Shakeups in Asheville city staff
- Local activism makes a mark on WNC
- The future of the car in WNC
- Developments in the Wanda Greene investigation
- Evolving race relations in Asheville
- Locals we lost in 2018
- Turnover at the top of Buncombe County government
- What mattered for affordable housing in WNC
- Xpress’ 2018 Instagram review
- Asheville Archives: Top views for 2018
- Local media highlights
- On our minds in 2018: The year in Opinion
- 10 notable Buncombe government accomplishments, by interim County Manager George Wood
- 12 biggest impacts on Asheville neighborhoods, by CAN Chair Amy Kemp
- Top Buncombe tourism accomplishments, by Explore Asheville President Stephanie Pace Brown
- Why I chose Asheville, by new City Manager Debra Campbell
- Top 10 Buncombe economic accomplishments, by Chamber of Commerce Prez Kit Cramer
- Best things about being Asheville’s mayor, by Esther Manheimer
- Conserving WNC’s natural treasures
- Seven Asheville-area climate stories
Farm & Garden
- Asheville food scene flashbacks
- Asheville beer and cider industry trends
- Looking back at brewing industry news
- Notable Asheville food and drink events
- Creative new cocktail bars
Arts & Entertainment
- Asheville’s inclusive art exhibitions
- Best of Asheville Comedy
- Creative Resistance
- Noteworthy local album releases
- Social dance highlights
- Six occasions when geeks ruled WNC
- Outstanding local theater