Resources Index

A reflection on nine pilot projects in collaborative journalism, highlighting what worked and what didn't. Key takeaways: Content sharing can work; revenue sharing "a tough nut to crack."

Networked Journalism: What Works

Three years ago, J-Lab launched the first round of what would turn out to be nine pilot projects in collaborative journalism in the United States. Now, the verdicts – and the lessons learned – are in.

There is good news and bad news. A majority of the projects delivered success far beyond our expectations and a notable level of creativity; others did yeoman’s work. And, unfortunately, a couple projects failed. …

Bottom line: At its height, the nine hub newsrooms had grown their networks from 44 partners to 169; 146 partners are still participating. … The overall score: Five wins, two hits and two losses.”
Source: J-Lab

Commenting on the fluid nature of even the successful networks, [J-Lab Executive Director Jan] Schaffer observed that ‘partners come and they go,’ adding: ‘Some divorce the network, some die in an emerging news ecosystem that is still quite fragile. Indeed, only two of the projects still have the identical partners they launched with.

The path forward for journalism, she concluded constructively, is ‘iterative.’ But the Columbia team was a bit more blunt: ‘There is no solution to the present crisis…. [T]here is no stable state coming to the practice of news any time soon.’” Source: Alan D. Mutter, Newsosaur

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