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Newsrooms come together to tackle packed news cycles

By Heather Bryant

This post was originally published in our monthly Collaborative Journalism newsletter. Have a knack for collaborating or are interested in becoming part of this growing community? Subscribe by clicking here.

It’s been an incredibly busy year already for collaboration in newsrooms as major events across local, state, national and international stages have newsrooms hustling to help audiences make sense of everything that’s happening.

Earlier this spring, many journalists from collaborative newsrooms gathered at Montclair State University to talk about collaboration and how it can be used to better serve audiences.

Catch up on some of the highlights here including the State of Collaboration video.

Feel free to forward this to your friends and colleagues who have a knack for the collaborative or are interested in becoming part of this growing community! If someone forwarded this to you, you can subscribe by clicking here.


Are you working on a collaborative journalism project? We want to hear about it!

An essential part of making collaboration feasible for newsrooms is collecting as much information as possible about existing and previous collaborations so that we can glean as much wisdom as possible from what’s worked and not worked when newsrooms come together.

The Collaborative Journalism Database is the gateway to research and learning and we need your help to keep it up to date and as complete as possible.

At this point, more 160 collaborations, spanning more than 1,500 newsrooms around the world are represented in the database.

The database features all different kinds of collaborations, from temporary, content-sharing efforts to more integrated approaches where newsrooms shared content, data, and resources at the organizational level. We used the categories from Sarah Stonbely’s research paper on collaborative journalism models to classify each project into one of six categories, depending on how long the collaboration was and how the organizations involved worked with each other.

Other information in the database includes when the collaboration started, who was involved, a short summary of the project, funding sources, the tools that news organizations used (when known), and whether the collaboration had a formal agreement in place or someone in charge of the efforts.

When you look at the the collaborative journalism database, you’ll see it’s a work in progress — not every entry is fully filled out yet. (We’re working on that.) We’re continuing to contact organizations so that we can complete each record and also to add new collaborations as they happen.

And that’s where you come in. We are asking you to:

  1. Make sure your project is listed: We’re in the process of loading every collaborative journalism project we learn about into the database. If your project isn’t listed yet, you can submit it using this form — we’re editing entries as they come in and adding them to the database.
  2. Make sure your project is accurate: If you search the database and find your project, please let us know if there is missing information or if you can fill in any of the missing information. We’re working with Heather Bryant to populate the database and you can email Heather (heather@projectfacet.org) with any information that should be included, or to fill in any of the missing data points.

Share the database with others: The collaborative news database is only comprehensive if we know about your project. We want ensure that projects from every part of the world and every size newsroom are represented. There’s a Medium post about the database and what we’re hoping to achieve. Please share this link, and let your colleagues know about submitting their information.


Want to connect with other people interested in collaborative journalism? Click here to join our collaborative news Slack team!

If you have any questions, please email info@centerforcooperativemedia.org.

Heather Bryant is a journalist and software engineer who is fascinated with building things for journalism. She is the director of Project Facet, and a 2017 JSK Fellow. Find her on Twitter at @hbcompass.