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Decoding Collaboration Part 3: Collective impact deconstructed

September 23, 2013 in Blog, Distribution

“The expectation that collaboration can occur without a supporting infrastructure is one of the most frequent reasons why it fails.” –Fay Hanley Brown, John Kania and Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Review

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Occupy New York staged in the financial district, directly across from the World Trade Center’s reconstruction effort. Credit Lisa Skube

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here, she generously offers a number of insights, with this the third of her three-part series:

News Collaborations:
Part I:
What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II:
How does collaboration create impact?
Part III: How might collaboration shape the future of journalism? (see below)

There is a reason why the virtues of editorial collaboration have been championed by any number of media watchers in publications like Mediashift, NiemanLabs, J-Lab, and Journalism Accelerator. Collaboration is seen as the best way to leverage scarce resources in order to create more impact than any of the participants could do individually.

To innovate around impact, the journalism world will need philanthropists who understand that collaboration also requires resources, not only for the outlets that collaborate, but for the backbone organizations that support these collaborations.

In this post, I’ll detail the Media Consortium’s 2012 May Day collaboration to demonstrate how one type of high-impact collaboration can be organized, the investment ours required, and the return it offers. Read the rest of this entry →

Decoding Collaboration Part 2: News collaborations – defining impact

August 8, 2013 in Blog, Community

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here, she generously offers a number of insights, with this the second of her three-part series:

Light at the end

Might defining impact to reflect new market realities for journalism help blaze a new trail to sector level transformation? Credit: Lisa Skube

News Collaborations:
Part I: What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II: How can collaboration create impact? (see below)
Part III: How can collaborations shape the future of journalism? (coming next)

As Jo Ellen describes it, “‘Collaboration’ has become such a sexy term in the journalism world that centers and sites are being built around it. As I noted in my previous post, content sharing, resource sharing, and even joint reporting is not new. What excites those of us looking to the future of journalism is what I have called networked collaboration… 

In a networked collaboration, a number of different outlets work together to produce original reporting around a particular topic. In vertical networks, that reporting is designed and supervised by one outlet; in horizontal networks, the work is co-operatively created, managed by a backbone organization with no editorial skin in the game…”

In this post we explore the implications of impact and look at a couple of different examples of networked collaborations. With some rich context around how news providers may gain more yield by breaking down what impact means, and potential ways to create more of it. Read the rest of this entry →

The Seattle Times: News Partner Network

September 9, 2011 in Community, Craft, Resources, Technology

“I’ve read a lot about The Seattle Times and the News Partner Network, a collaboration between The Times and more than 40 community news sites to share story links and photos among the sites. In 2009, The Times was one of five news organizations that received funding through J-Lab to build a local news network involving at least five community news sites.

As you can see, The Times took that project and ran with it, building what is likely the most extensive collaboration network involving a newspaper and community news sites. In discussions last week with Bob Payne, partnerships and audience engagement editor at The Times, and representatives of four of the partner sites, I heard both what makes the network work and where some of the ongoing challenges lie.

Bob makes it clear that this is about collaboration, not about The Times trying to big-foot the community sites. The Times highlights the work of the community sites on its website and links to the stories. That means The Times doesn’t get the web traffic; the pageviews and unique visitors accrue to the community sites, not the newspaper’s site.

The Times doesn’t want to substitute its own news judgment or editorial practices for those of the sites. The site publishers are the experts in their communities, Bob said. The benefit The Times derives from the partnership is extended reach; Times readers are able to connect into community news that the newspaper would never cover, or that it would cover only in brief. In this way, The Times burnishes its role as a news and information hub for Seattle.” Source: Janet Coats, The Patterson Foundation

Pew Report: Non-Profit News: Assessing a New Landscape in Journalism

August 10, 2011 in Craft, Distribution, Resources, Revenue

A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism offers a detailed look at a portion of this new cohort of news providers-sites that cover state and national news. The study examines some four dozen sites across the country, all of them launched in 2005 or later, that offer coverage beyond the local level to state and national news. That group includes national news sites such as Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, which receives money from more than a dozen foundations and has a staff of more than 30.[1]

It also includes lesser-known news sites such as Missouri News Horizon, whose funding is less clear and covers Missouri state government with a staff of three journalists. The study analyzes the funding, transparency and organizational structure of these sites, and also the nature of their news coverage. [2]Source: Journalism.org